What do you do when you're not your own client?
Sal has prompted you to look at luxury brands to get inspiration on how you can offer a luxury experience to your clients, but you might look at a store like Louis Vuitton and be like, “I’m not my client. I would never shop there.” That leads us to this next dilemma, right? This kind of impostor syndrome where you don’t feel like you even belong in Nordstrom’s or you even belong in Louis Vuitton. If you were to walk in Louis Vuitton, you feel like maybe you just don’t belong there. You’re out of your element. You’re in front of people who might be looking down on you and judging you, and that’s fine. We all have a little bit of that imposter syndrome from time to time. Sal just wants you to know that you have to go and experience this, and you at the end of the day might not be your own client.
Don't limit yourself to what you would pay.
Michael Anthony, who’s a wedding photographer and part of Level Up as well, he has a Facebook group for wedding photographers. He made a post talking about how he was excited that he had a $4,000 engagement sale. He was just talking about it. Not in a boastful way; just saying, “Value your work and charge what you’re worth. Offer your clients something that they’re willing to spend money on.” A woman jumps into the thread and comments basically saying, “$4,000 for engagement pictures? I would never pay that. You’re basically ripping your clients off.”
Sal found that offensive. How utterly ridiculous that she would imply that. The gist of it was, internally she’s struggling because she would not be willing to pay for her own services. If that’s you in this moment and you’re watching and you’re thinking, “I wouldn’t pay $10,000 for a wedding, so therefore I can’t charge someone $10,000,” that’s crazy. You’ve got to shake that shit off. You got to get that out of your head because you’ll never be successful. If you don’t value the business you’re in, how can you charge for it? Cost isn’t going to change studio to studio. Print is the same price. Acrylics are the same price. Canvas are the same price. A studio is the same price, right? All photographers have the same expenses, but some have a hell of a lot more profit.
You've got to want the profit.
You’ve got to want that profit. You’ve got to want it because you’ve got to buy gear, and you want to retire someday. You have to understand, and the advice Sal is giving you when it comes to IPS, is that maybe it’s time for you to step out of the room. Maybe you don’t belong in that room anymore. Maybe you need to hire somebody who’s being paid on commission. Hey, the more they sell, the more they make and they’re in the room because you are your own worst enemy in all this. Sal says this with nothing but love, and he hope you understand that you have got to get out of your own way to be successful.