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A podcast where you join me (Colie) as I chat about what it takes to grow a sustainable + profitable business.
CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
What should you have in place before you begin diversifying income streams within your photography business? In this episode, Colie chats with returning guest Maddie Peschong about creating new income streams as a multi-passionate creative photographer. Listen in as she shares her unpopular opinion regarding what you MUST do before you jump into creating new income streams in your business.
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Here are the Highlights:
00:00 Maddie loves systems.
03:05 Get to know Maddie .
09:30 Learn about the membership model.
16:25 Transitioned from marketing to photography with coaching.
18:45 The switch from coaching all clients, to specializing in photographers.
24:06 Changing directions in business.
37:57 Tailoring advice, knowledge, and strategies to specific audiences.
43:58 Final wrap-up.
Review the Transcript:
Colie: Hello, hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Business First Creatives podcast. If you are watching on YouTube or once you hear her start talking, it should seem like she is a very familiar person. I’m excited to welcome back Maddie Peschong for the third time on the podcast. Maddie, how are you doing today?
Maddie: I am so great. I’m thrilled to be here as always.
Colie: I mean, before we hit record, Maddie and I were talking about all of the amazing things that we’re going to chat about, but also Maddie and I are just going to chat because I feel like every time she comes to the podcast, we think of new things to talk about. And so I feel like to get started just because she is one of my favorite clients and I can’t help, but just ask since she’s here, how your system’s treating you Maddie.
Maddie: so good. The systems are so good. I like, I am, I’m maybe a bit strange in the fact that like, I hate sending invoices, love to get paid, hate sending invoices. And ever since I’ve worked with you, Colie, like it’s just, everything is so easy and I’m typically not unless it’s like kind of a one off situation. I’m not sending invoices. I’m sending proposals. And then my clients get to pick and choose what they want. And it’s easy. And I get text messages that are like, Oh my God, your proposal is so fancy. I’m like, I know it’s the best. It’s the
Colie: mean, I love systems, and I think that that is honestly, even though, I mean, I love when Maddie tells me that she loves her systems, guys, I mean, sometimes Maddie just tells me these amazing love notes, like, Colie, this happened today, and it’s all because of you, and I’m just like, I love you, but I do think that all of that aside, guys, it a good thing to ask her about her systems because, uh, as you know, we have been doing the series on going beyond your services, expanding your business. And when I think of like a multi passionate entrepreneur, Maddie is definitely top of mind, top of the list, top of everything. And so I’m really excited that she’s going to be here talking to us today about the ways that you expand beyond your services, because while I’ve had a lot of studio owners on the podcast I’ve asked them about the process of building their studio. I think you’re the first person that has like a set of studios and how it’s, you know, just a completely different, um, giant on its own. So I guess what we, maybe I put the cart before the horse girl. Why don’t you tell the listening audience who they are in case they have not listened to your previous episodes, which would honestly just be insane.
Maddie: Okay, cool. So my name is Maddie. I’m a brand photographer and coach, and I’m based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I’ve been a photographer for about 12 years. And then in the last four or five, I’ve niched down into only brand photography. That’s still a lot of different types of clients, whether it’s like commercial headshot clients, personal brand clients, larger commercial projects. Product photography, um, but that’s the, the niche that I serve. And then I’m also a coach. And at this time I am primarily coaching photographers who want to pivot into brand photography or add brand photography as a service. That’s obviously what I’ve been doing for the last few years. And so that’s what I have, as we were talking about systems, that’s what I have the systems for. That’s where my knowledge really is. And then I also have a podcast called Take It Personally. Colie’s been a guest on that. That talks. All about personal branding, which gives me the freedom to talk about a lot of different topics, which is how I like it. Um, and then as Colie was mentioning, I also have a studio. So to clarify, I have a studio called White Space and we are building a second studio, but In that transition, we will say goodbye to the first studio and just have the second. Yep.
Colie: I did not realize that.
Maddie: yes, I, oh, there, there have been a few people who have said, wait, are we going to have two? And it would
Colie: Oh, good. So it wasn’t just me.
Maddie: No. No, a few people have asked. Um, but no, we will just have one. The new one is about triple the size that we have now. So, we’re just getting rid of the The old one, sorry, but she’s old. So with that studio, we, uh, we have members that rent the space and have a certain amount of hours per month. We have like a membership model and then an hourly model. So people can just rent it for one hour, uh, every other month, if they want to. And we started, we opened in February of 2020, which was a trip. Um, but honestly, it’s, it’s been fantastic.
Colie: I mean, how many pandemic studio babies were born in 2020? I mean, I’m, I’m legitimately trying to think of everybody who I’ve had on this podcast. And I think everybody that I’ve asked about their studio, they’ve all, um, opened their studio after the pandemic, like after
Maddie: There were a lot of us. Yeah. Mm hmm.
Colie: So when it comes to going beyond the services, I feel like I should maybe ask you a beginning question. Cause you just told us all of the things that you’ve done, but how long? Did you strictly do photography and like photography and not coaching and not the podcast and not like any of those things? How long in your business was it just photography?
Maddie: Oh, okay. If we’re going back to even before the podcast, it was 2019 is when I started, like late 2019. So that would be, I think I,
Colie: seven years.
Maddie: it was. I was, I was thinking, I’m like, when did I start? It was seven years, um, of just photography. And then even when I started doing the podcast, honestly, the last, like, I think two years now, the podcast has had regular episodes. That was not always the case.
Maddie: Like, at all.
Colie: sometimes people open their podcast as like another service in itself. If your purpose is to monetize the podcast separate from your services, but not all of us have that, you know, that idea when we do our podcast. And while I like to monetize this podcast, it is for my own services. I am not seeking like outside ads or anything. So maybe even we keep that podcast as not like a separate service. It might have been a good marketing tool, a good creative outlet for you. When did you open the studio?
Maddie: We moved in January 2020 and we opened February 2020. Um, so we had a little bit of time where we were doing some remodels. So February 2020. So we’re coming up on year four. Or we’re, yeah, right at year four.
Colie: Okay. And so when it comes to like running a business, first of all, what, what prompted you to create and open the studio? Was your intention to monetize it the entire time, or was it just you wanted a studio for yourself, so it was really just like a part of your photography business or an extension, if you will?
Maddie: I’m, I laughed at that because I feel like so many things in my business are me being like, let’s just kind of see what happens. And then it turns into a business, which is great, which is great. Um, and also presents problems, which we’ll talk about. So, uh, I originally wanted a space that I could easily flip from session to session. A white space, if you will. Um, because I noticed that the other studios in town, while they were beautiful and there were very few, there was really one that I primarily rented. It was gorgeous, but it had really specific like architecture elements. So people could always tell where I was shooting. And to an extent that’s going to be true, but I wanted like a white wall, a neutral floor, like something where I could really, you know, bring in furniture and bring in wall arts and totally make it different based on the client. And while I was having that thought for my business and my brand photography business was growing and also just pivoting into brand photography, I knew that I would need. Like, I can’t just go to an open field and, you know, expect that it was going to work.
Colie: You don’t want to photograph diapers just in the middle of the grass. Is that not your thing, Maddie?
Maddie: Exactly. So I knew that there was like a pivot happening there. And then I feel like with a lot of kind of these turning points in my business, I am good at being like, well, if I need this. Other people need this too. There’s a lot of photographers in my community. Um, it’s a really excellent community for photographers. And so I kind of had that in the back of my mind. And we figured, I think originally we figured that I would have a handful of other people like helping me with the lease. Just. Like not a membership model or anything, just like you pay 500 bucks, you pay 500 bucks. I pay a thousand bucks. And like, that’s what this is. Um, but then we decided to add like the hourly renters pretty quickly after, um, and didn’t really know what to expect with it. And it went really, really well. So then we played around with things like punch cards and that sort of thing, and ultimately landed on memberships because. The issue with studios is that you’re pretty blind month to month when it comes to revenue unless you have a membership model. So ultimately made that change.
Colie: I think that was a great way. I mean, and let’s be honest, like all of us love to stabilize our income. I mean, I’ve had Annemie Tonkin on the podcast and she’s talked about her portrait membership, which I also have one for my photography business. And all of us that kind of revolve on very inconsistent income really value, well, how can I create consistent income in a business that, you know, by default, ebbs and flows every single month, depending on what it is that I’m doing. And so a membership model is a great way to make sure that, you know, your studio is sustainable and profitable and that you are not footing the bill on your own or that you’re not having unexpected, you know, months where, Oh, no one rented the studio this month. So now I have to pay this entire lease going forward. So, I mean, I, I love that for you, Maddie. I think it was a really good decision. How long did it take you approximately? Cause you’ve had the studio for four years. How long have you had that membership model? And are there any things that kind of happened? Once you integrated the membership model that you were like, okay, this part’s really not working. Like, maybe we need to do a little tweaking here. Oh,
Maddie: the membership model. Is that it was my husband’s idea
Colie: I mean, we, I am always willing to admit when someone else is right. I’m always willing to admit when I am wrong. It just happens so infrequently. I have this
Maddie: so infrequently.
Colie: the time. I mean, and honestly, when he gives me a really good idea. I feel myself, you know? Oh, that was a great idea, James. Thank you so much. Oh, that’s a great idea, James. I, I feel myself saying it so much because it rarely happens, but I mean, this was a pretty big thing in your business. So, Jeff, if you are listening, Bravo.
Maddie: Yeah. So we knew about the membership model from other studios. I, there, there are a group of studio owners. We’ve connected over the years and we have like a Facebook group. And, um, I knew that a lot of my. Counterparts at other studios had membership models and some of them had had a lot of success with it. Some of them had a hard time getting it off the ground. We had a lot of success with punch cards, but the issue with the punch card. So you buy like a 500 punch card and it’s got 10 hours on it. So each hour is less expensive than if you were to just buy it. But the issue with that is that, you know, you, you don’t know when it’s coming, right. And you would also have. Periods where you’d sell a lot of punch cards and then people would use those punch cards and other months and it was just, it was really difficult to track capacity and to track revenue. And so Jeff had been talking about, we really need to introduce this membership model. We really need to get rid of punch cards and I. I’m a people pleaser at heart. I’ve tried to heal that part of myself, but
Maddie: I was so worried about what people would, would think and what they would say about that shift because it was, it’s different for sure. And ultimately it’s a little bit more of a risk on their part. Our memberships are very low cost. Um, and I do that on purpose. But still it’s, it’s committing to six months as opposed to a one time purchase. I get it. Um, so I was just so terribly nervous. And so it was last December, not 2023, but 2022 that we like really hard pivoted into no more punch cards. Here’s the membership model. And I think after I did all the, you know, sales and marketing for that. Uh, winter, like sale, we had four memberships and I was like, okay, this is great. Like that’s about a thousand dollars a month that we don’t have to worry about. And then we just ran that sale again. Cause we always do like a black Friday and with the excitement about the new studio and prices going up and all that, we have 10 members and I could not be more thrilled because that’s basically my rent, so.
Colie: That’s awesome.
Colie: we’ve talked about photography. I mean, we didn’t really talk about it in this episode, listening audience. So if you want to hear more about why Maddie decided to pivot into brand photography specifically, we’re going to touch on it a little bit at the end, but I mean, we have really gone into that, especially in her first episode on the podcast. Both of her previous episodes will be linked in the show notes for you. You just get to go and click and listen to her. I mean, I know you’re probably already enjoying what she’s saying now, and there’s just more goodness in her previous two episodes. But getting back to today’s topic. So we’ve talked about your photography a tiny bit. We’ve talked about you expanding into being a studio owner and then running this membership. When did you take another pivot into like the coaching side of your business?
Maddie: It was at the same time because I’m psychotic. So not only was I opening the studio and starting coaching, but then a pandemic happened. But honestly, like that happened to so many people. So many of us were like making changes in our business and then the world shut down. Like I remember the conversations.
Colie: I mean, Maddie, I don’t know if you know this, but my Dubsado setups are a result of the pandemic. I mean, I don’t
Maddie: That is not surprising to me. I did not know that. Mm
Colie: I went on to Annemie’s podcast. This can’t be that hard. She brought me on in, it aired on my birthday in 2020. So my pandemic birthday, my first pandemic birthday, if you will, it aired. And I remember, you know, she brought me on as a CRM expert. We talked about why you need systems, why a software tool is great to help you organize your business. And when we stopped recording, I said, Oh my God, that’s my next course. And so then. I was creating the course and I did a Black Friday sale like you, I mean, you know, let’s talk about it. Let’s get it out there, sold it in a beta round. And then by the time the course was actually ready in January of 2021, I was like, Oh, I should just do this for people who don’t want to take a course. And so I launched my course. And my system setups done for you at the exact same time, just like you did. I mean, we’re, we, we love, we do not let grass grow.
Maddie: We do not let grass grow. We’re not bored.
Colie: that idea, we are like, okay, let’s just go, you know, all in. So let’s talk about the coaching for a bit. What called you into coaching and what does that look like when you started versus now? Because I know that you’re, you’re a fabulous group program. Rebrand is going to be opening soon, but. You didn’t start out by offering a group coaching program, so what was the impetus? And then how did you kind of go from wherever you started into offering rebrand?
Maddie: So my background before I quit my job and started doing photography full time, I did social and digital marketing full time and loved it. And so I was always kind of like the Instagram girl. Like I. Was really fascinated by social media and I kept up on trends and like algorithm changes and that sort of thing. So people would naturally come to me when they had questions for that type of thing. Um, and I I think because of that, and I had, let’s see, in 2017, I think, or 20, no, 2019 was when I hooked up with my business coach, and she’s been my business coach ever since, and she definitely encouraged me in that direction, like, it’s, saw the potential for me to be at the time. We weren’t really sure if it was like teaching and educating or coaching or a combo, um, but pushed me in that direction. And so the first thing that I ever did was hosted a workshop for like 350. I think I had spots for 12 people and it’s sold out in like a day. And I was like, Oh, okay.
Colie: is the thing.
Maddie: Yeah. And, and terrified and excited. And hosted that, and it was very specific to Instagram, like using Instagram to grow your business. There was definitely like a through line of personal branding, but at the time I hadn’t really identified that that’s what it was, so it was Instagram. And at the end of the day, we did like a little cocktail hour with appetizers and stuff, and there were a few women who stayed. Like through the evening and multiple of them were asking me about the mastermind that I was in. I was telling them, and, you know, change my business and she really pushes me and all this stuff. And they were like, well, why don’t you do that? And I was like, well, I hadn’t thought about that. I don’t know. And maybe I had talked about it with my coach, but I on, I don’t think I really had. So that was when I first kind of had the idea of like, Oh, maybe I could do some sort of a group like this, but if it could meet for six months or something, and it was quick moving. Cause I think that was in September and by January I had launched and enrolled for my first mastermind, which was for. All creatives, ever, there, there was no niche, there was no ideal client, there was nothing, but, you know, because at that point I had been using my platform to educate in some capacity, who knows about what, I think there were a lot, who knows, there were a lot of people who were Warm to the idea of me as a coach or as an educator. And so the program filled quite easily, um, a bit, a bit of beginner luck, I think. And then the pandemic happened. And so I was coaching for the first time, these people who were like trying to make ends meet through a pandemic. And that was humbling and, um, a really interesting experience, especially because not all of them were photographers. So I was dealing with industries and anyway. I did that for a few years and probably after about two and a half years had this like voice on the back of my head, like this would be really cool with just photographers specifically who want to do brand photography. And I just kept having this thought of like, that would be really fun, but there’s probably not enough people who want to do it, but that would be really fun. And At the same time, my mastermind felt like it wasn’t really serving me anymore. It was making me a ton of money. It was connecting me with fantastic people. The relationships were phenomenal. The women were amazing, but I felt like I was stretched really thin because I was trying to be a coach for so many
Colie: everything to everyone.
Maddie: was exhausting and my photography business was growing. We had the studio, it was just too much. And so I got to the point where I just kind of had to rip off the bandaid and say, okay, I can’t keep doing this. I’ve got to niche down more so I can go deeper with possibly fewer people and see what happens and that’s where rebrand came in.
Colie: Okay, so I’m going to take one step back because I just realized that you and I are like from the same cut and when we get an idea, we just figure out how to make it work and we jump in. But most people are not like us. So what would you say, like, this is like the advice part of this conversation. If someone was coming to you and they’re like, okay. My services are going really well, regardless of what service it is. I mean, you and I both have significant experience with photographers because that’s where we started, but if they come to you and they’re like, okay, I, I think I want to go beyond the services, but I’m not quite sure what that looks like, or maybe they have an inkling. What advice would you give to someone in order to make the time and space that’s needed to explore that? Because I know you and I, Both have thriving businesses that kind of paid for us to
Maddie: absolutely. Yeah,
Colie: So what would you, like, what advice would you give to people who are in the situation where they know they want to go beyond services, but they’re not quite sure how to approach it, um, and still maintain like the current service that they are known for.
Maddie: I’m like writing down notes, so I don’t forget to say these things. So, um, the first thing I would say, and I don’t know if this will be controversial or not. I wouldn’t touch an additional revenue stream with a 10 foot pole until your primary business is comfortably making six figures. It’s not because there’s something magical about six figures. It’s because that that’s such a tipping point for so many creative business owners. Like at six figures, you can pay yourself a nice salary. You can pay your people. You can outsource a little bit. You just have more flexibility. So I guess in that way, there is something a little bit magical about six figures. It just makes things easier when you have that wiggle room. So I would not touch it with a 10 foot pole until then. Um, and then. I feel like once you are at six figures, a lot of these things have to be in place anyway, but I’ll say it regardless. Make sure your systems are locked tight. You, with multiple streams of, of revenue with multiple businesses, you can’t be in your inbox risk,
Maddie: sending out workflow emails, like automate that shit. You cannot be doing that. Hire Colie. Cause you’re gonna, it’s going to be a disaster. Like it’s going to be painful. Um, so that’s, that I think is the first thing. Like, do not touch it with the 10 foot pole until you’re making six figures and make sure that that business is almost running in the background. Obviously, if you’re a photographer, there’s some stuff that
Colie: gotta take the
Maddie: Um, and then I would say there are some questions that you need to ask yourself and they’re, they’re tough questions. Things like why, why you, why are you the person to teach on this? Like what kind of, what makes you so special? And I think that can be a really triggering thing to. Answer, but I wish I would have done that because again, it’s not that my original mastermind was bad. I’m so thankful for it, but I kind of had no business. I had no business. I had no business educating all of mankind’s creatives. Like there was nothing about that that made me special. And so then every time I would market and enroll for a new round, it was super triggering because I was like. I don’t know why you should sign up for this. I don’t know what your results are going to be. Like that’s where I ended up, which is ultimately why I, I changed course. Um, so yeah, why should you be the one to do this? What, what have you done in your business that would make you the person to be able to do this thing? Um, and then the last thing is just to make sure that you’re not getting into it for the money. And I see a lot of creatives, photographers who want to add a stream of revenue to make more money. And I, it’s a really interesting topic because ultimately, and I’ve said this before, I think that I make less money than I could. If I picked a lane and did one thing really well, because you’re going to divert your attention. Now, I like my reason. I like having multiple businesses. I love all the things that I get to do. So I like my reason, but I’m not necessarily making more money because of it. Um, and there will also be years as you’re building one thing. and maintaining another thing and whatever, where revenue is very up and down. Um, when I stopped doing the mastermind and pivoted into rebrand, my income took a hit because it was fewer people and I was marketing to a new audience and all those things. So while you might make more money in the longterm, there’s going to be years where that’s not the case. So you can’t get into it for the money. Um, last thing I would always. Why I always come back to coaching and come back to teaching is because I noticed that I do it, whether I’m getting paid or not. I do it in the hairdresser’s chair.
Maddie: do it in the hairdresser’s chair. I do it in the carpool lane. I do, like, I will coach you on your business, like, whether you’re paying me or not. I’ll do it at coffee.
Colie: so I should get paid.
Maddie: Yeah. And so I obviously have, there’s something right. And I’ve also spent time now developing a curriculum and I have like more of a process to, to what I do, but even before then it was like, okay, there’s something here. It’s not, the money is great, but it’s not just for the money. And I think that that’s really key for sustainability.
Colie: And I find it one of the reasons that I love having you on here is because I feel like my situation is so different because I started with photography and I almost immediately started teaching and that was just my professorship side. I could not let it go. I did not want to go back to a college classroom. So, hey, let me teach people what I’ve learned in a year of running a business. Because at that point in time, no one was teaching like
Colie: family photography in home. Nobody was addressing the things that are like, okay, I’ve been taking these pictures outside, but it’s not just let me hold up a sign and say, Hey, can I come to your house? That shit is not real. It does not work. It takes a lot of marketing and a lot of messaging to get people to allow you to come into their home. And so no one was talking about those things. And I was like, well, you know what? I really know how to teach. So let me figure out how to gather my thoughts on what I’ve done in this year and just go
Colie: And. When it came to the system side, I mean, like I said, I was on the podcast, but I had been getting questions and answering questions for free inside of all of the Facebook groups, because I want everyone to win. I want everyone to stop sending emails constantly that you don’t need to send.
Colie: Pay it, pay Dubsado to do it, pay HoneyBook to do it. Like it’s 40 a month. It is so worth your time to not constantly be in your inbox or constantly be checking on your leads. But that started for me because people were asking me and I was telling them what to do for free. And I mean, now it costs a lot of money for me to tell you what to do, but like that was my impetus for kind of. My shift, and I think I’m different than you in that my photography has gone way down as the systems have come way up. Now, I mean, I have lifelong clients that I will just never get rid of. If the kids let me come to their college graduations, I will probably be there with a camera smiling and waving and crying hysterically, but. I do think that to bring this back around to a point, you need to be cognizant of what your plans are for each stream of income. If it is that your first stream of income is going to pay for you to set up the second one, but eventually the second is going to be like your main, or you’re trying, I mean, you have to be cognizant of that because if your intention is to continue in both, You have to make sure that you have the time and space for both.
Maddie: Yep. I totally agree. And you’re right. My photography business and coaching business have like simultaneously been growing and I, I spent the majority of last year being like, I don’t want to pick one. Don’t make me pick one. And then toward the end of the year, I was like. Fuck this, I’m, I’m tired and this year the goal is to scale coaching and continue to work with my current photography clients, possibly take like larger projects and step back a little bit more from photography and I think that that’s the shift that Has to happen unless you’re going to have, I mean, I’m sure there’s a way to do it, but yeah, a team because it’s just really tiring. And not only that, the, if you have like, this is, this is really niche, but if you have one social media account, who are you talking to then? Who are you marketing to? And. And that has been, as I have really pivoted hard into growing my coaching business and my education business, I am getting fewer leads for photography and that’s a blow to the ego, you know, and, and a blow to the bottom line in the photography business. And so you just have to know that that’s probably coming and how do you want to navigate that?
Colie: but what’s really interesting is like right now we’re talking about your photography and then your coaching, but we’re leaving off the studio and so technically your studio audience and your potential coaching audience. They are not the same, but they have overlap,
Maddie: that is, I will say that’s the cool thing about. All of my audiences, if, if we’re doing like photography, coaching, and studio, there is overlap among all three of them. Um, they’re all, there’s like, it’s like a Venn diagram of photographers and business owners,
Maddie: and that is very helpful. And it’s still hard, you know, so if you’re a. Oh, I’m trying to think of what a good example would be. I mean, I see it a lot with my clients who are photographers and wanting to have both a, you know, a family photography part of their business and a brand photography part of their business. Not impossible, but it’s just more challenging because you’re talking to two different people.
Colie: Yes. And I mean, you’re, you’re the third person in this series to talk about these things. I previously interviewed Brittany McBean and the very first episode of this series and her audiences for her different offers are very different. And then I interviewed Elizabeth McCravey, who talks to business owners, mostly for her website templates, but then when it comes to her coaching. And her, uh, booked out designer course, she’s mostly talking to web designers. I mean, a few business owners that are not web designers like me, but so, I mean, this is a conversation that has come up many times in the series. And if you are just hearing this as the first episode in the series, I highly recommend that you go back and you listen to the previous episodes, because these are things that every single one of us have grappled with when you move from your original service. To either a new service or to something that is more digital or something where you’re selling, you know, you’re renting space in your studio through a membership model. I mean, there’s so many ways that you can move on from like the main service that you had in your business, whether you want to continue and grow everything and have multi passions. or if you’re trying to like pivot from one to the next and are still at one point trying to talk to multiple audiences on your social media.
Maddie: Yeah. And I think at the end of the day, this isn’t a conversation to scare people into not pivoting or not adding a stream of income. That’s not the intention at all. However, I get really fired up when people talk about passive income and I will have clients. Yeah. You know, I will have clients come to me and say, I really want to like, you know, before they’re even breaking 50, 000, I really want to get into passive income. I really want to start passive income. And like, I, I wish that I could find whoever started that trend of talking about effing passive income and the way that we talk about it online and strangle them. Because it’s not passive income. Nothing is passive income. If you want to sell something, you have to talk about it. And if you are talking to multiple audiences, it is more work, not less. And no one’s talking about that until this series. So you’re
Colie: I mean, it is very, it is very time intensive. And if you are one of the lucky ones to where your multiple offers, your different income streams do happen to have the exact same audience, bless you. I love
Maddie: shit to the bank.
Colie: I think we all wish that, you know, that was the case, but then the case, then the question is, okay, but Colie and Maddie, if it’s so easy to do it towards one audience, why don’t you just stick with creating multiple things for that same audience? And I don’t really have an answer to that because sometimes that just can’t be done. I mean, I wish I could tell you that, but. You know, it, it just, it can’t be done for everyone. And so, you
Maddie: Well, and I think then, I think then you get into. So even though your audiences are maybe the same, depending on what you’re talking about, you again, get into the issue of having too wide of a net, because if I, so I am a brand photographer for business owners, and that’s what my coaching started out as, right? Creative business owners. But that was so hard because how do I put together a framework and a process for every business owner ever? Like, that is really, really challenging. I don’t know the
Colie: come all, all are welcome. No.
Maddie: Whereas if I say, can I put together a framework for how you can pivot into brand photography and grow your brand photography business? Yes, I can. It’s a four step process. Here you go. So I think that that’s the, the issue of if your audience is the exact same, it’s still not the exact same.
Colie: And I love that. And I think, you know, I’ve kind of done this yo yo this up and down sign and co sign Lord, I’m talking about math, but I have just gone up and down when it comes to marketing the system side of my business, because I am really good at helping photographers. But every once in a while I want to help somebody who’s not a photographer. And so sometimes I am just talking to photographers nonstop because I know that if someone who is not a photographer is really interested in working with me, they will inquire anyways. And then we can have a conversation about whether or not I’m a good fit. But when I try to kind of say, Oh, I’m for all creative service providers. Even when I say that, I’m really not. There are lots of you that come to me and I’m like, No, first of all, I’m not the person for you or Dubsado and HoneyBook will not work for your business. I mean, just because I say I’m open to all creative service providers. It doesn’t actually mean that I can help everyone. It just means that, hey, if you like me and you like my vibe and you would like some of the systems help that I’m talking about, let’s have a conversation,
Maddie: So I was, I was going to ask you about this. I think this is a really good point. Do you find that the more specific that you get and your marketing and like who your ideal client is, the more that your inquiries increase across the board, not just with photographers?
Colie: I’m not sure that the inquiries increase, but the likelihood that the sales conversation is going to be very short and sweet. And to the point is amazing because when I am when I am continuously talking about, because originally my course was just for family photographers and.
Colie: It was for family photographers, but my services were, I would, I would set up anybody’s Dubsado account, but as I now expand to Dubsado and HoneyBook, again, that’s kind of a, I mean, even though it’s the same audience, those people, like, I can’t specifically talk constantly about the proposal process in Dubsado, if I also have to give equal time to the smart file process in HoneyBook. So even I struggle, you know, Not even with different audiences, but the different products that I offer, I have to still cautiously talk about those things. But the course was originally family photographers and services was everyone. And then I realized if I want, cause I want everyone in the course, like the course helps you no matter, you know, what you’re doing. I kind of expanded from that. And then I, then I went deep on, Oh, but I really just want to do your setups if you’re a photographer. So, I mean, I go back and forth. I think it’s just my mood, but regardless, I feel like if people want to hire me, they’re just going to inquire regardless of what my messaging is, but messaging is easier. When you are talking to one particular audience, your framework, the deliverables, the benefits, all of those things are easier if you can. I mean, and I don’t wanna say templatize it because all of these things can still be very custom, but like you would talk to a wedding photographer about building their business, very different than you would talk to a brand photographer. You have this innate knowledge now. After being a brand photographer and now running a studio and working with all of these businesses that really help you help other brand photographers to grow their business or just get started in that genre, because I don’t know. If it has something to do with the pandemic, but I feel like brand photography has just exploded in the last three years. And I don’t know if it’s just because of like the space of where you do brand photography, you know, you can do product photography. You don’t actually have to be with people, which was a good thing during the pandemic. But when it comes to, you know, getting yourself situated in doing the brand photography, I feel like a lot of people are doing it because they get burnt out on the other. They get tired of wasting their weekends. Sorry for anybody who’s a wedding photographer or a family photographer. I did not mean it to come out like that, but there just gets a point where life starts happening and you start missing what you wish that you had the time to do when you really have to be doing the job. I mean, weddings are not going to happen on Thursdays just because you don’t want to do a wedding on a Saturday. Like that’s just not how it works. Now, can you build a business? Where you only do elopements during the week? Absolutely. Is it harder? Fuck yes. But so I just feel like we see so many people gravitating towards branding photography because it does give you a lot more of your time back and then that work life balance.
Maddie: Yeah, I totally agree. I also think there has been a rise in people, business owners, Realizing that a personal brand is incredibly important, whether you’re a business owner or whether you work at a bank, like people do business with people and that’s how you differentiate. That’s how you stand out. And people are recognizing the importance of that. And so there’s more, there’s so much opportunity for photographers who want to do branding. It’s just kind of crazy.
Colie: Okay. I mean, and this is not the go hire Maddie, join her program, but I do feel like that’s a perfect segue
Maddie: a good tee
Colie: I mean, right. Could I have done any better if I planned it? I’m not quite sure. So Maddie, since Rebrand is going to be open here shortly, why don’t you let people know what it is and where they can come to find out more information?
Maddie: Heck yeah. So Rebrand is a 16 week program for photographers who want to offer brand photography. Either as part of their business or as their whole business, whether you’re pivoting into brand photography, or you just want to add a service, maybe replace weddings or replace your weekend sessions. And my goal with everyone who comes into rebrand, it’s a, it’s a customized program, certainly, but my goal as the coach is to get everyone to a point where they are charging four figures for a brand session, that is what that service. is worth. Um, that is what that service is worth, period. And so that’s my goal, but it is a coaching program. So it’s not like a course that, I mean, how many of us have a ton of courses that are still like in our inbox? I’ve actually been really good lately about going through courses. Um, but. Thank you. Thank you. Um, but you know, that can definitely be an issue for some people and I love coaching and I am a firm believer that so many of the really big like aha moments that I’ve had in my business are not from necessarily education that I learned, but the coaching component that came with it because we are. We are our own worst enemy. And sometimes we need that extra coaching. So
Colie: And that accountability, you’re avoiding that word, but let’s just say
Colie: that accountability.
Maddie: Someone being like, Hey, you said you would do this or Hey, remember what the focus is? Yeah. Um, so that’s what rebrand is. It is, there is a curriculum. There are video trainings. There are guest experts, um, that type of thing. But then we also do coaching calls almost weekly, um, to work through. You know, maybe, maybe it’s just a simple question on like, how do I put together a session and maybe it’s like, I feel like I’m not making any money right now and I’m in a really bad headspace and how do I get through that? So it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever done in my business. It’s. It’s so fun to have a bunch of people in a digital room that are all kind of in the same boat. I’ll have photographers, I mean this round I have two photographers who’ve been doing photography for over 20 years, and then I’ve got people who are brand new baby photographers. So, they’re It really runs the gamut in that way, but we’re all in the same boat together in that this is like a change that they’re making in their business. Then you also get access to a ton of swipe files and templates and all of these lovely things to make your CRM run better for you. Um, because that’s a huge part of being able to scale as a brand photographer is increasing that perceived value, increasing that, um. Client trust and transparency. And so you get access to all that stuff too.
Colie: I mean, and I happen to know that Maddie has good systems. I wonder how I know that. Hey, Maddie, where can people find you on the Internet? Uh,
Maddie: I don’t know if that’s ever going to change.
Colie: do you still, does Jeff still have your code?
Maddie: No, I’m on,
Maddie: I’m on a break from my screen time limit. I, I don’t use social media apps before 9am and after 10pm, which is really not that big of a boundary. So I probably need to rein it in again.
Colie: That’s okay. I mean, I like to hear it. All right, Maddie, this has been amazing. Once again, thank you for coming on the podcast and sharing all of your insights and your wisdom. I mean, I just, I love this entire series because I feel like everyone thinks about what comes next. And that is very different for every single one of us, but there are still some really common threads everyone that you should consider before you jump into a new line of income, a new service, a new offer, a complete pivot from one to one services to offering a course, whatever it is. I hope that this series helps you make some of those decisions as you move forward. And that’s it for this episode. See you next time.