issue 109
February 3, 2010

a note from Lori
Hi Everyone. 

Whew, what a busy two weeks of networking, writing, coaching - and seeing some great movies. We have a new theater by us that charges a little more for the movie, but you get free popcorn and soda. They run adult-focused movies, and their target audience is definitely the over 35+ crowd. And I will tell you we've never been there where the theater wasn't packed. Isn't that a great concept? Charge a little more upfront, give a little more service, and have a very successful business?

That's the focus of today's article. I want to share with you several ways to find great ideas all around you (I thought the movie idea would get you started). Keep in mind that ideas are everywhere. If you see something successful in one industry, how can you move it to your own and have an equal success rate? 

Enjoy!

Lori

Six figure training
An Easy Way To Gain Massive Ideas 
 
An Easy Way To Gain Massive Ideas

As a business owner, want to know the easiest way to stay on top of the trends? Get as many magazines as you can and start reading. In today's world, they may come in the format of hard copy in your mail or from the bookstore or library, or in digital format through your email. But however they come, spend some time with each one analyzing them for new ways to market your business. Let me give you a few examples of things I've read in the past week, and will be implementing them into my business model during February.

One digital magazine highlighted a question from a reader. The reader delivers fish to restaurants, and was complaining that business is down almost 30 percent over last year, and asked what he can do to revive his business. The magazine editor replied that its time for him to think beyond delivering fish. How can he help his customers - restaurant owners - vamp up their own businesses so they'll be able to buy more fish? Maybe he can start giving his customers tips on how to bring in more customers: free appetizers, happy hour prices on wine and well drinks from 5 to 7 (if people are there at that time, they're more likely to stay for dinner), or maybe choosing lower cost fish to offer nightly specials that are reasonably priced.

Where will I go with this? The key here is to help my customers grow. The more money they bring in as a business, the more profitable they will become. And the more they'll trust me and invest in my products and services.

One digital magazine I received highlighted a new tactic he noticed at a recent farmers market. In the middle of all the food booths was a simple booth (think Lucy's help for 5 cents booth from Peanuts) for an architecture firm. For a nickel, he gives architectural advice to anyone that stops by. He may only make a dollar or two each day - but he connects with enough people to fill his business up for the year.

Where will I go with this? I love this concept and am looking into several local tradeshows and community events where I can open up my own booth. Simple - yet full of potential.

And finally in the January edition of Entrepreneur magazine, they dedicated a large portion of the magazine to franchises. Did you know 8 of their top 500 franchises are in the photography industry? Does that tell you photography is still very profitable? And now for the most shocking thing to me - people are willing to invest anywhere from $15,000 to more than $300,000 to get involved in one of these photography businesses. And on top of the franchise fee they listed many more thousands of dollars in startup costs (buying equipment, leasing office space, etc). Wow.

The great thing about buying into a franchise is you get a pre-existing business. They have the business model, the marketing, the advertising, the production - everything is included in the system. People that invest at this level understand the type of support they are getting, and value it highly.

Where will I go with this? Continue on with VirtualPhotographyStudio.com. I love being able to offer you tons of quality articles, tips and products that give you advice on creating a business model that works. Thanks for being loyal VirtualPhotographyStudio.com readers - let me hear about your successes!

[I'm so excited about my newest release for 2010 - the Fast Trak program for Six Figure Photographer. If you are ready to Fast Trak your way to success with your business, and want to have an entire business model in your hands for pennies of what a franchise would cost you, visit SixFigurePhotographer now...] 


 

Latest blog stories
Five Ways To Stand Your Ground With Impossible Clients
 
When you read the title of this post, whom did you think of? Did one client's name jump to the center of your thoughts?

We all have clients along the way that simply come in, and attempt to control the entire show. They want extras in your packages. They want more time than you offer. They want special attention.

Especially in this economic climate, it's easy to bring on a client, even if there are warning signs up front they may be difficult. But who can turn down hundreds or even thousands of dollars?

Yet I'll bet if I ask you after you've worked with that same client for a while if it was worth it, your answer would be a very big NO.

So how do you set the stage up front and avoid these clients? How do you deal with someone who ends up eating way too much of your time?

1. Remember your business.
You have packages in place because they meet your requirements for keeping your business profitable. You have your business set up to do the things you love to do. You are the professional, and know what's best for your clients, what works and what doesn't. If someone asks for a minor change, its one thing. But if they start making major changes, and asking for things that really impact the way you do business, remember your business comes first. Simply tell them your business is set up to offer the very best for your clients. Outside of minor changes, you simply can't make the changes she's asking for.


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Plan Your Vacation Shooting Trips Now
 
Even photographers need a vacation. But when you find yourself planning a vacation, don't you always get excited to bring along your camera and shoot for fun?

There's something fun and inspiring about being able to shoot anything you want, whenever you want, knowing it has no implications on your business.

But as a photographer, it's also no fun showing up with thousands of others, and getting boring pictures with a ton of other tourists in them. If you're going to shoot for "fun", how can you do it the best way possible?

Even though we head out and shoot for fun on all of our vacations, we've found several tips that will help you shoot at more than an amateur level - and maybe help you get some dynamite images that you can sell on stock sites, or create your own art and set up your own art gallery.

Here are 7 tips to help you plan your next shooting vacation.

1. Use your children's breaks and long weekends.
If you have kids, you probably travel during their off times. Which means you'll be vacationing with large crowds of people, especially at the more touristy locations. Look at your child's schedule, and plan for shorter trips on more non-traditional times. For instance, my daughter's school district gives them a fall break around the last week of October. This is a great time to still pick up some of the fall colors, and avoid large crowds.
 
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lori recommends
They laughed at the idea of me opening up my own business, until they saw the results...
 

Opening up your own business can be a little scary. Especially when everyone around you has a 9-5 job, and offers little support to your "wild" ideas.
 
"When will you give up on this crazy idea?"
 
"You want to leave a good job, and start up a business now - in this economy?"

But just remember, there is no such thing as a good job anymore. Jobs are disappearing every single day. They take away your benefits, your pay, your pension, and eventually one day you begin asking why you are still working for someone else. That's how it started for me.  

You see, the only thing r1sky in today's world is to think that your job will be there tomorrow. It's to keep the blinders on, and not start something that will secure your future - now. And if you're dream is photography, having a clear cut plan is the only way to go. That's why I've just released my Fast Trak for 2010 - the fastest way possible to build your photography dreams into a Six Figure success... 

 The crystal clear way to get your plan in place >>
 

About Andrew and Lori
 
Andrew and Lori Osterberg are co-founders of VirtualPhotographyStudio.com, a site dedicated to providing tips, resouces and advice for using your camera to build a successful photography business.

Through their coaching, workshops, training and products, Andrew and Lori show you how to break through the desire of wanting photography to be more than a hobby, and provide you with the how-to to actually accomplish it.

To begin experiencing Andrew and Lori's coaching, consider their highly successful Photography For Success, Freedom and 1ncome.

If you liked today's issue, you'll love following Andrew and Lori through all of their high-content training products, newsletter, and online posts. Their goal is to provide you with all you need to help you live the life others only dream of.