Ready to shake things up? Today, Matt and Kia interview Grant Andrew, Matt’s friend and business coach. Listen in to hear them talk about how important the message is you’re putting out to your ideal client. The person running the business, is the message. Who are you, what do you have to offer, what do you love? Then, who does that work for? Who are you excited to work with and photograph? Grant suggests you try a lot of things, see what works, then do more of that. When you’re first starting out, it’s a discovery process. Recognize when something “sparks joy”. And it’s a living process as you grow and evolve. Be careful who you are accepting advice from to begin with. Seek out voices you resonate with on a bigger plane. “Detect your purpose” – Stephen Covey Ask your employees, family, friends – what do they see you enjoying and also avoiding? Embrace the great exchange.
The Greatest Salesman in the World (strange read, but 10 great nuggets in the middle): https://amzn.to/2B8FC98
Reach out to grant: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Transcription was done by Temi.com which means it’s an AI generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar and other errors, and is not a substitute for watching the video.
Grant: [00:01] Hey, this is grant Andrew and you’re listening to from nothing to profit.
Speaker 2: [00:05] Welcome to from nothing to profit, a photographer’s podcast with Matt and Kayak where each week they talk to photographers about what is working in their business now so you can swipe those ideas and grow your business faster.
Matt: [00:20] Hey everybody. Welcome to from nothing to profit with Matt in Kenya. So this week we have a really amazing guests. He’s actually one of my friends and he also does some business coaching for me. His name is grant Andrew and the reason grant is on here as Kaiser actually never met him. Kyle just met him like 30 seconds ago when we jumped on this recording but I wanted to meet him because he helps me a ton but we had this really interesting conversation and grant I’ll try to just summarize it real quick and then kyle and I can kinda. You can Kinda, you can tell your version of the story and then Chi and I can kind of ask you additional questions. But grant and our grant, I were having this conversation where he we’re talking about, I’m speaking at a PPA, Boise, well I guess it’s Pdpa Ppa, I Idaho and a couple of weeks and he was asking, well what are you going to talk about?
Matt: [01:06] And I said, well, you know, talk about marketing and stuff like that. And then I was making this joke about how every time you go to a marketing seminar they spend like half of their talk talking about like avatars are, who your ideal client is and you know, I said, you know, I’m not going to spend all this time just spending the time making people who figure out who their ideal client is because I feel like, again, joking that everybody in the photography industry thinks their ideal client is people with millions of dollars. And that’s, you know, whenever like who, who’s your ideal client? I don’t know, somebody that’ll spend eight grand with me and you know, they have a billion dollars in grant money. This really interesting comment. And we had a very short conversation. But then I cut them off because I wanted to continue the conversation here at the podcast and he’s in cramped, correct me if I’m wrong, but you basically said that the message you put in front of somebody is more important than the actual avatar of the person because again, I want to see, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but you said something along the lines, like, your ideal client can be a millionaire that’s willing to spend $8,000 with you, but if you don’t know how to talk to that person, it’s kind of pointless.
Matt: [02:08] Right? Is that where you were kind of saying?
Grant: [02:10] Yeah, I mean, I think, um, I’m just, um, I’ve done a lot of work in marketing and, and, and I hear this, you know, these terms come to light. And I, I guess it’s, um, it’s a little bit just like what’s oftentimes I feel like when we, when we start a task, right, we gravitate to like the, the easy part, you know? So it’s sort of our units. I always joke, it’s like the American thing, right? You’re like, I want to get into camping, so you go buy a tent because going to the store and buying something that’s obviously, you know, that’s the easy part of campaign, right? Whatever you’re into, you know, I mean, you know this with fishing, right? You see people all the time or like I want to get a deficient, go spend, you know, $2,000. And then you’re like, well, how’s the fishing? It’s all in the garage. So in some ways, like, you know, when I talked to, when I talked to marketing folks and we talk about personas, we talk about avatars and all that. It, it feels similar, especially we’re talking about small
Grant: [03:00] businesses that are run by one person or a couple of people and there’s really a, a personality in the business, right? I mean, when you’re talking about someone who is, um, you know, say a photographer who’s largely working solo, I think that the Avatar can easily become a distraction. And so, you know, in my mind, just a couple of places to go before that. I mean, right, is to actually kind of really understand who you are and what you’re, what you’re able to offer, what you’re, what you’re capable of offering. And one of the things I think gets lost in that avatar conversation is like, you know, like I could be anybody who has money, right? To your point who has $8,000 because whatever they need, that’s what I am and I’m sure we all have stories where that really doesn’t work that way. So I think it’s just important to kind of begin with the first things and not begin with sort of the easy things. And that was, that was kind of our conversation there and just the jumping off point for this larger conversation is, you know, wow, um, how do we, how do we actually do the hard work maybe as opposed to the easy work that gets us started and um, you know, with, with that slight introduction, I’d also like to say thanks for having me on because this is a lot of fun and I’m sure we’re going to push the boundaries of, of a thought process as we often do.
Matt: [04:20] Yeah. And in this car, as I was thinking about this conversation coming up to this point, it made me think about, I read a book and I want to, I think, I think it was a Dan Kennedy book, I’d have to, I’ll link it in the show notes, but it talked about how to market to affluence affluent people. And one of the main points I took from the book was like, the average person doesn’t know how to market to an affluent person because you don’t even understand what it’s like for them to spend $40,000 on a coffee table. Right? Like you’re like $40,000 may be all the money you make in a year, you know, and they’re, they’re willing to just go drop it on a coffee table, you know, like, it’s so, like it’s just different conversations. And so sometimes I think a lot of photographers fail because they’re marketing to somebody who they aren’t necessarily as well.
Grant: [05:06] Right. And I think ultimately, you know, we’re, we’re, we’re, as marketers, we’re trying to project or broadcast a message. And the question is what’s the message? And I think in the case of, um, you know, have a, have a business that’s run by someone, there are the message and so you know, you, you start with who are you and what are you good at and, and where are the places that you really add value and, and who you’re going to talk to and how you’re going to connect with them as all downstream from that.
Kia: [05:38] I feel like I’m standing in a club, you know, and like a room and I’m like, look, bouncing back and forth between you guys. And it’s funny because normally I’d be like, all right, I’m out. I’ll talk to you guys later. Find a conversation where I’m the center of the conversation. Just sorry. But so what you’re saying grant is essentially that figuring out your Avatar is easy in your viewpoint, but figuring out who you are is more difficult and something that we typically have
Grant: [06:07] void. Well, yeah. I think in a true sense figuring out your Avatar is very difficult. But I think that if you start on that process before you’ve done the internal work, then it’s like, then it’s like, well, who’s my avatar? If I want to sell $8,000 packages, people with $8,000, we’re done. This was easy. Well, it’s got to be something missing here, right? Yeah. Because the real question is,
Kia: [06:34] is what are you trying to sell and who are you going to attract? Because that’s a very different person than just the general person out there with a lot of money and the. And the other thing is, is maybe your client isn’t someone with a lot of money, but it’s someone who values what you do so much that they’re willing to change what they do to make it happen.
Grant: [06:56] Yeah, exactly. And once again, how would you know that or how would you find those people? You know? So I guess I guess if I, if I were to sort of lay this out a little bit, I’d say to me that sort of persona avatar idea. Yeah.
Grant: [07:08] It’s sorta like the third step, right? So the first thing is you have to know yourself, who are you, what do you have to offer, what do you love? You know, what, what is, uh, what, what, what’s working for you, right? I mean, because here’s the thing, if you’re marketing something or you’re selling something and you’ve chosen a market, uh, so you’ve chosen a really serious market, maybe you’re trying to appeal to business people, you’re trying to talk to, you know, corporate clients or whatever, right? And that’s not you, that’s going to be awful. It’s going to be hard, right? So right away, like people are going to get this sort of like, man, it looks like this guy is really working to do marketing that’s gonna, you know, you’re going to see smoke and you know, here’s your screeching and stuff. Um, so, so you have to know yourself and then you have to know who your approach works for in part of that is going out there and doing a bunch of work and then examining what’s resonating, what, which clients, what, what types of clients or what types of jobs are like easy for me, I just do this stuff.
Grant: [08:08] I show up, I do my magic. You do your magic. This works so good for both of us. This is amazing. Now we’re starting to see where this is, right? If we, if we haven’t gotten to that step and done enough work to, to uncover that a bit, then the persona or Avatar is like all aspirational, right? I’d like to sell to people who are 40 to 60 who have a lot of money.
Kia: [08:27] Yeah. You know, it’s a really interesting and the photography industry, you see this happen over and over where there’s a superstar who does one thing really well and then so many other photographers, you know, they buy their package or they hear them speak and then all of a sudden they’re using the same language, the same imagery, same type of imagery, the same business model. And like you said, it screeches, you know, it’s like there’s something off here. It’s not, this isn’t quite right because essentially what they’re doing is just trying to replicate what someone else has done instead of figuring out who they are.
Matt: [09:03] Mrs Smith’s inauthentic authenticity for sure.
Kia: [09:06] [inaudible]. Yeah. Yeah.
Matt: [09:08] Well, so here’s how I see the photography. Again, I’m stereotyping to prove a point, but what I see is that a lot of people start, they purchased a camera, they photograph, you know, all of their friends and then when they run out of their friends they go get educated and then the next thing they do is they did make the jump from all their friends who paid them, you know, nickels and pennies, which is, which is fine. And then they go, you know, I only want to sell $3,000 packages and I just think that’s where a lot of people fall down and like I don’t. Then they’re like, oh, well there’s not, there’s too many photographers, you know, trying to go after the exact same person versus like trying to find your own little niche and then just, you know, hustling inside that niche and just kicking butt.
Grant: [09:49] Yeah, I think, I think this idea that I love is that this type of this type of work, and this is one of the places I think people get get stuck, right? So, so matt, you know, you guys are, you guys are pretty mature in terms of business models and ways and so you’re at a point of trying to ask a question. Like when you go to build a process or you go to fix something or you go to enter a new market, you’re looking at, is this scalable? Right? Can we do this at size? Can we do this at speed? I think that people start to ask those questions too soon and that creates part of this problem because the work of figuring out who you are and who your thing works for doesn’t have to be scalable.
Grant: [10:34] So you say, well, you know, I just ran a general ad and, and you know, in a week I booked five different kinds of jobs and I shot a family and I shot a portrait. Then I and I and I went to a school and I did and there’s no way I could do that at scale. Well, if you’re new, there’s no need to do that at scale. What you’re doing there is actually getting data and the data gathering process is not, doesn’t have to be at scale because we’re not trying to figure out like we’re not trying to make a million dollars a year. We’re trying to figure out where’s the vein that I should go dig down on. And, and when you do that, you do all these little test holes, right? You just go out and you just like, you want to do a pattern that says, okay, last week I did 10 things, which of those 10 things kind of worked for me? And so, so once again, people hear someone like you talk about some of your challenges in business and they’re like, wow, I got to be careful. I don’t do something that doesn’t scale well at this point you just need to do anything. If you’re early in the process you need to do something and then once you start to see what works, finding something that scales is like a later more mature conversation.
Matt: [11:35] Right. And grant you and I spent a lot of time talking about like, you know, making sure we’re doing work that is filling our buckets, you know, because you could go and try to be somebody else or you could, you know, go into a niche that just isn’t natural to you and it’ll just wear you out, you know, and they’ll just wear you down. But if you’re working with people that fill your bucket, then it’s like a different process. It’s not like you don’t have to go to work everyday, you know, you just get up and do your job and it’s just fun.
Grant: [12:00] Absolutely. But, but to do that, you know, and I think desperation plays a role here as well, right? So, so if we’re underfunded, undercapitalized in business, we’re kind of ahead of the curve, you know, we can, you know, at some level it’s like, you know, you wind up doing anything you can for a dollar, right? Well, once again, people look badly at that, right? So, so even in that example, Matt, I would say, yeah, you want to be doing work that works for you, but give yourself some time to find that, you know, and recognize you’re gonna have to take your lumps on the way to it. Um, you know, and, and, and, and in that sense, when you do something and it doesn’t work, when you do something and it’s difficult when you do something and you say, wow, I can’t do that over and over again, that becomes a filter that helps you find your way. And when you start to find that way really clearly, then you start to look at the other end of the equation and say, okay great, who is this working for? And, and now what do I do?
Matt: [12:56] That’s okay, here’s, here’s our proposal I have in a sense, and tell me what you think about this. Because as an industry person, it’ll be interesting to see your point of view. Like with what grant just said, I think. I think there’s an opportunity for photographers out there to say the work that I enjoy and the work that was easy for me and the work that felt good at the end of the day was an $800 sale or a $500 sale and they can scale that versus the versus the industry is trying to convince them they have to have a $3,500 sale every time they turn around.
Kia: [13:29] Yeah. You know, this is actually pretty interesting. I just talked to a photographer friend the other day and we were talking about like, you know, I was just asking about his business, how many sessions you did, what was the average was and he said, I think that people killed their businesses, literally killed their businesses by having too high of an expectation for their average sale and then they build their business around it and they just lose clients as they go. And I really, I do think there’s a tolerance in certain, you know, just depends on where you are in that country and where you are in the genre of what you’re photographing. That there’s a certain tolerance that people are like, yes, I’ll be spending a thousand dollars, or yes, I’ll be spending 800 or whatever the number is. That’s just, that is an easy sell and then you, then you go over on the other side of it and it’s a hard sell. And I actually. It’s kind of a funny conversation, but like we are. That’s what I’m literally doing in my business right now is trying to find that sweet spot that’s right below. It becomes a hard sell
Matt: [14:35] exactly because it’s just so much more work and I totally agree with the conversation that you had where I see photographers just killing their business and they’re going from photographing families and making nickles to, you know, not trying to find that sweet spot and going straight so well everybody tells if I’m going to be a successful photographer, I have