Many of you may know that I started my business 10 years ago with much pressure to replace the 6-figure a year income I walked away from when leaving my corporate job. But did you know that
I BUILT A 6-FIGURE A YEAR BUSINESS FROM MY TRUNK?
Ha. Yes, it's true. I built my entire business from zero to 6 figures in 18 months...without a studio. Not only that, I didn't even have an appropriate dedicated space in our home to meet with clients (plus, I didn't want to interfere with my family life, kids, etc).
I created a LUXURY brand, making $4,, $5k and even $10k portrait sales, selling in the living room of my clients homes...from a laptop and pulling my samples from the trunk of my car!
Sharing this story with you now sounds amazingly incredible, as in, "how did she do that!?" But truly, back then, it was a necessity to either figure out how to replace my income, or go back to the job that I had grown to hate.
Here's the deal: I wanted a store-front studio from the day I opened my business, but we couldn't justify it at the time because, remember? I just walked away from a (solid) 6 figures, benefits, vacation, security. This was our only income and our business plan didn't include a store-front studio for several years down the road.
But...how was I possibly going to compete for the same clients as the other "big guys" in town? How was I going to create a luxury brand, sell a wall portrait gallery, give an amazing experience when (10 years ago), everyone around me had a "real" studio?
Well, the long-story-short is that I did exactly that. I researched my competition. I studied luxury brands. I rolled up my sleeves and set out to create the aura of a luxury studio...without the walls.
I realized very quickly that "branding" and "marketing" have everything to do with how you create and deliver a message and an experience. I turned my "negative" into a benefit for my clients...and I sold that as my brand.
Yes, I convinced them through strategic branding and marketing that it was a benefit to them that I come to their home for the presentation and sale! I had a complete explanation that was 100% true in my mind. I believed it. And so did they.
This was my business model for the first 6 years of my business. Even new photographers entering the market were opening up store-fronts all around me. And yet I still managed to offer a unique, luxury business model to an upper-end client in my town, without a space to meet in my home and pulling all of my portrait samples from the trunk of my car.
I attribute our success to God's grace and a crazy-mad marketing plan that effectively established and voiced our branding message to the world...with style.
I'm sharing some of these details, the logistics, the tools I used, the pros and the cons and how I worked around them to make this business model work for us. But not only work for us, really work for us.
It's a FREE download, link below.
After the first six years we opened a studio store front in luxurious Granite Bay, CA for the next 6 years. What I can tell you from experience is that your success is not based on the walls that you do or do not have. It's based on your mind-set, hard work and believing in your brand.