Megan DiPiero is an award-winning portrait photographer. Out of her modest home studio she’s built a powerful boutique brand– earning six figure salary for her family of four. Recognized as a Top 100 industry influencer, Megan shares her business expertise at national conventions and in her popular Facebook group: “Rise to the Top! With Megan DiPiero.
Megan’s notes from her Tog Talks Episode: The Power of Community Marketing
Expertise (related to photography)… I’m a headshot expert. More specifically, personal branding portraits. Last year we did $150,000 in headshot business with a $3000 average sale. The secret of my success is the way that I connect with clients and help them build out their vision for all the possibilities we can create at their shoot. It’s not uncommon that an inquiry starts with “I need a headshot” and ends with the client creating an all-day portrait adventure.
Expertise (related to mentoring)…
I’m a pricing and sales guru. One of my favorite things to teach is how you can keep the sale growing and growing, building up to “the throw up moment.” This is the moment where the client might just feel physically sick at the price point staring back at them on the invoice. If you’ve created value in what you’re offering and the client decides to cross over that indecision threshold, I promise you they will value the products, experience and images 10x more than if you had made the purchase price easy on them.
Deciding to commit has always been the biggest challenge. I can trace back moments when I was on the fence– wanting to move forward but paralyzed with fear and indecision.
Example 1: deciding to commit to new prices and move from shoot and burn to boutique portrait brand. Going all in meant raising my rates from $250 for digitals to $2500 for digitals– a 10x markup! Example 2: deciding to commit more deeply as a family when my husband quit his job and joined MDP. Moving down to one income meant it was sink-or-swim time. Super scary! My hustle got dialed up to 11. It was a scary, but powerful move for the business. Example 3: deciding to commit to a new custom studio build. We’re in the middle of this right now. Scary, exciting, expensive. But ultimately, immensely promising!
BEST MARKETING STRATEGY:
Walk the Mall. In 2013, I made a massive switch in my business– moving away from on-location family portraits and towards in-studio Beauty portraits. It was like I was starting over. No one knew the brand. I had to get out there and share my passion and most importantly, make connections. The scariest/ best thing I ever did was to go out there and shake hands with strangers. I created a whole approach around it that featured transparency and a serving attitude. That one day of making connections led to $50,000 in sales and set up my new brand for success.
Know. Your. Numbers. For me, everything starts with black and white numbers. I was terrified when I first put my numbers down on paper and discovered that I had to hike my prices up by a factor of 10 to make it work. But the numbers gave me courage. I was gonna make it! Or die trying.
NEW AREA WITH $1000 TO SPEND
Spend that money on other people, in other businesses. I’d get my hair cut at the most expensive salon in town… and make connections. I’d shop at the boutiques and schmooze with the business owners… and make connections. I’d buy a ticket for a semi-formal charity event… and make connections. I’d book a teeth whitening service with the best dentist… and make connections. The key to my marketing is and has always been community marketing. The more money I can invest in my community and the more time I can invest in connections, the more my business will thrive. Success doesn’t happen behind a computer screen.
Schedule EVERYTHING in advance. If you want to do something, you have to carve out time for it. I put placeholders for everything on my calendar. I know exactly when my available meeting times are, what days my portrait sessions will be, and which evenings, I’m available for after-hours networking. When an opportunity arise, I just check my calendar and plug it in. I think of it as pre-meditated success.
BUSINESS RESOURCE I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
Besides my calendar (explained above.) I couldn’t live without Audible. I listen to business and motivational books every single day. How do you think I got this smart? ; ) I stand on the shoulders of legends and build from there.
WHAT I’M WORKING ON NOW
Photography: I’m working on re-centering my business around the principles in Donald Miller’s Storybrand workshop. Very excited to launch some new branding and marketing with story at the core.
Mentoring: I’m working on developing a new 6-month group training resource to help support and train photographers on best marketing practices. It will feature guided lesson plans, mastermind calls, and an accountability component to push everyone to achieve their goals. We also have a new pricing and sales blueprint that will be available for at-home training. It’s called Level Up. I’m so excited about it! It’s everything I wish I knew when I first started– all in one program.
The best way to reach me is through my website and Rise to the Top.
Tog Talks: The Power of Community Marketing
Visit Megan’s Website!
Find Megan here for mentoring!
Join Megan’s Rise to the Top Facebook Group!