how to make good money in photography

You know those people who seem to just be REALLY good at making money?

You know the ones — it seems like everything they touch turns to gold.

I’m going to share a secret today about those people. Because there is just one simple rule you need to follow to be good at making money. 

Here’s a preview of this podcast episode:
  • [02:51] All the blocks I had about creating my podcast 
  • [07:39] The secret to achieving ANYTHING (and especially how to be good at making money)
  • [11:58] How long it takes you to reach your goals depends on this one thing
  • [12:39] Some actionable tips to become good at making money in your photography business in 2020

Click here to listen!

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Podcast Episode Show Notes:

You know when you see those people who just seem to be really good at making money?

You know the ones, it seems like everything they touch turns to gold. I’m going to share a secret today about those people. Because there is just one simple rule you need to follow to be good at making money. 

And in fact, this rule applies to achieving any goal – whether that’s achieving your ideal weight or buying your dream home or if you’re like me – starting a podcast!

Speaking of starting a podcast, to help you understand this rule, I’m going to share a bit of behind the scenes of what it took to get us to this point of you listening to this podcast episode today.

First of all, starting a podcast has been something that I have been wanting to do FOR YEARS. Starting a podcast has been something that my community has been ASKING me for and something that I know will help me have a more consistent SYSTEM for connecting with you. 

And alright I’m going to be honest – one of the main reasons I wanted to do it via a podcast was so I don’t need to do my hair and makeup!!

So a podcast has been one of my Intentional Priorities for at least the last 2-3 years.

But every time I would think about getting started, I would always come up with some excuse…

First of all, I couldn’t seem to make it a priority. Something would always come up — like needing to:

And then once I finally decided to make it a priority, it literally took another 4 more months just to get to this point where you are able to listen to this today.

Here’s how it all played out in my head.

Ok Clare first things first – what should I call it?

Will it just be my name – or something else?

Should it have photographer in it so it’s clear?

But what about if I want to talk about something other than photography down the line?

If I call it my name, then it will be all about me and that’s too much pressure. It needs to be catchy and clever. But not too try hard-ish. Ah I can’t get started with even the basics like the graphics and logo, if I can’t even decide on a name.

What about sound?

What equipment do I even need?

I definitely need to buy a professional microphone but which one?

And didn’t I see someone say I need a mixer? How does that even work? Gah I don’t have the money to buy all that stuff let alone the headspace to research what to buy or how to use it! 

And where would I record it so it sounded professional? I’ve literally just spent thousands decorating my amazing office so it would look good in videos – but it’s too echoey for podcasts!! I’ll have to find somewhere else to record the podcast!

And then – how do I even get it on iTunes anyway?

What about people who don’t use Apple?

Do I have to pay for software for that?

Which one is best? I don’t want to make a mistake and use the wrong thing and have to change later!

And don’t I need a professional sounding person with an American accent to record an intro with professional music and everything? Where do I even find someone to do that for me? 

What do I even get them to say in the intro? How do I not make it sound stupid and over the top?

And how do I choose the music to go with it?

Ah gah, this is all too hard, I don’t have the time and headspace to work this out. I’ve wasted too much time and energy on this, I need to focus on other things.

Ok yes, I do want to create a podcast, it’s so much easier than video.

What photo will I use on the cover?

I should have a photo with a microphone but I don’t have any. And I’ve lost 10kg since my last photoshoot. I think I need to do a new photoshoot first. And maybe buy some of those cool rose gold noise cancelling headphones for the photoshoot while I am at it.

And anyway, once I’ve recorded the episodes, how do I edit it altogether?

I should outsource all of this. Where could I find someone to do this for me?

My friend is paying $2000US per month for someone to produce and distribute her podcast. Should I do that too? 

OMG my other friend just launched her podcast. And she made it to new and noteworthy list. How can I do that too? If I don’t make it to new and noteworthy no-one will listen. But I have about a tenth of the following she has. 

And who do I think I am, I don’t know as much as my friend who has a way more successful business than me!

How will I even be able to come up with enough topics to talk about?

Everything I would talk about has probably already been said by photographers and marketers much more well known than me…

Plus my voice is annoying and high pitched and my accent is too ocka. 

Maybe this isn’t such a good idea after all. What if I say the wrong thing accidentally and I get heaps of haters and people attack me online? 

Ah gah, this is all too hard and scary.

I might just go back to my comfort zone of posting photos on Facebook… even though only about 4% of my people who like my page are even seeing my posts right now…

Or maybe I should focus on that other strategy I saw someone talking about using Instagram Reels or Tik Tok instead.

Is anyone even listening to podcasts anymore????!?!?

Yep – that was literally a blow by blow of the thoughts I had in my head – JUST to get this podcast episode live, that you are listening to right now. 

Does any of that sound familiar for you, in YOUR pursuit of getting to the next level in your photography business?

I shared that story with you to show you…

NO MATTER how long you’ve been in business.

NO MATTER how skilled or competent you are.

NO MATTER how extroverted or shy you are.

NO MATTER how much time, money or energy you have –

there will ALWAYS be doubts, fears, frustrations and problems (and seemingly legitimate excuses) for why we aren’t getting the results we want…

And yet – here we are. 

DESPITE all of my doubts, fears, frustrations, lack of knowledge, millions of questions, lack of time, money, energy… here you are listening to this podcast right now — which means — I got there in the end.

Because the secret to achieving ANYTHING – and especially how to be good at making money in your photography business

– is to not allow yourself to give in to your excuses.


CLARE STEPHENS

There will ALWAYS be some reason that we can blame, for why we aren’t getting the results we want.

Lack of Time. Lack of Money. Lack of Skill. Lack of Knowledge. Lack of Confidence.
Bushfires. Coronavirus. Homeschooling. The Government. The Economy. Husbands. Kids. Overwhelm.

AND YET —

Because the harsh truth is this: 

You can be good at making money

– or you can be good at making excuses.

Want to know how I finally got the first episode live despite all the things that were stopping me?

  • I decided I was sick of my own excuses
  • I made it a priority and got up earlier in the mornings to find the time.
  • I gave myself a deadline to have my first podcast live
  • I decided on a name and decided it was good enough so I could get started
  • I created a graphic and logo in Canva using an existing photo.
  • I didn’t worry about those rose gold headphones!
  • I bought a SmartMike+ microphone that was advertised to me in my feed on Instagram, read some reviews and decided it would be good enough.
  • I got frustrated but preserved to get the mic working and sounding ok.
  • I didn’t worry about a mixer at all.
  • I swapped my office with a smaller room in the house – it’s not as light or as pretty but is more quiet
  • Instead of spending $2000 US per month, I hired a personal podcast VA to create, produce and distribute the podcasts. She tells me exactly what she needed to do her job and I tell her she has permission to pester me when I get distracted
  • I wrote and recorded and produced my own intro in a couple of hours. 
  • I used a song that I had previously purchased for a video I had created a few years ago
  • I took my own advice to not look at the competition, stay in my own lane and that there is no other person out there with the unique skills, ability, experience, personality or perspective as me; and
  • I remembered what Sean Stephenson said when he spoke at Funnel Hacking Live in San Diego – about focusing on that one person who needs to hear exactly what I have to say, and will only hear it the way I can say it.

Every step took longer than I anticipated.

But I stayed the course, and as I took each next step, the solutions presented themselves. Often the solutions weren’t what I originally anticipated.

I took imperfect action anyway. And here we are.

Because the fact of the matter is this: 

Anything that you REALLY want. Anything that YOU DEEM worth pursuing.

Anything that you don’t already have right now – no matter where you are, or the type of goal it is…

It’s going to bring up resistance.

And it’s your ability to take the very next small step, DESPITE the resistance that will get you to your finish line.

The truth is every time you take the very next small step, guess what will happen? Another question or problem or frustration or excuse will present itself!

Problem – Solution – Problem – Solution – Problem – Solution.

How long it takes you to achieve your goal (if at all), will just depend on how good you are at making excuses.

When you are good at overcoming excuses and finding solutions, you reach your goals faster:

  • Speed of implementation creates momentum
  • Momentum creates motivation
  • And that motivation is what keeps you going, even when presented with inevitable problems

When you are good at making excuses – you go slow (or quit):

  • The slower you go
  • The less momentum you feel
  • The more your motivation wanes.
  • And when you lack both momentum and motivation for long enough… you stop altogether and give up.

This is why 85% of photography businesses don’t make it past their first three years in business.

So let’s give you some actionable tips to become good at making money in your photography business: 

  1. Get honest: What is it that you TRULY want in your business and life? Choose just ONE thing and get super specific. If it’s money – how much money do you want to make?
  2. Give yourself a deadline: WHEN will you make this happen? Get accountable and declare it publicly.
  3. Make it a priority: The only way you find the time is to SCHEDULE it and COMMIT.
  4. Create the plan: Write down all the problems, questions, issues you have right now that are stopping you from getting started. Then tackle them one by one.

Problem – Solution – Problem – Solution – Problem – Solution.

The solutions might not be the perfect ideal solution that you think you need. But you won’t know what the solution is until you get there, so don’t worry about it until you need to.

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase,

you just need to take

the FIRST STEP.”

Martin Luther King

And being stronger than your excuses is all you need to take that first, or next step.

Successful people ask better questions. So the next time you hear yourself saying or thinking… “I can’t…” or “this won’t work” or “they won’t”

Stop, catch yourself and rephrase the sentence to a question: “HOW can I?”

And if you are feeling stuck, put yourself into a hypothetical mode.

Humour yourself and ask:

If I assumed this COULD work…

if I suspended all of my doubts and fears and simply chose to believe that this WOULD work for me…

Then what would be the very next step I would take?

And then, simply DO IT.

And that my friends is the simplest birds eye answer for How to Become Good At Making Money in Your Photography Business (or achieving any of your goals).

Now that we have your headspace in a positive and resourceful (solution-finding) space, in the next episodes, we will dive into some specific marketing strategies you can implement to help you find more clients – especially if what you have been doing is not working.

Have a great day, and I will see you in the next episode.

Other Ways To Enjoy This Episode

  • Listen To This Episode on iTunes here
  • Download The Transcript To This Episode here

Resources Mentioned

Go Deeper

  • Watch the Bookings on Autopilot Training here
  • Join the Photography Business Accelerator here

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— To your success,

Clare xx

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