Dream Assignment – Dream Couple! Part Two
Monday, Jun 30, 2008
Wow, what a weekend! The wedding was incredible! The bride should write a book on how to handle your wedding day. The couple was relaxed, patient, and gave me enough time for me to do my job effectively. The result is going to be some spectacular images and a great album. I am so confident that I even mentioned to Josh that this might be entered at National this year in the album category. Not only did the wedding coverage go well, but Josh and I did some incredible networking with all the wedding attendees, many of which live on Mercer Island, WA. Who else lives on Mercer Island? Does the last name GATES ring a bell? Needless to say, Josh and I made some promising contacts with the type of clients we love to work with. One way we WOWed them was with a DVD slide show. The bride’s mom, Val, wanted me to produce a DVD with images of her daughter growing up, her new husband growing up, images of them dating, and then ending with images from the engagement session. There was not a dry eye in the house, as the mom ran it on screen from 9am-4pm the day of the wedding. Every single person there had a marketing seed planted in them. I hope they sprout some day! On a personal note, the family was so appreciative and said they were honored to have us there. Tayna, the bride, said, “When you did my senior portraits a few years ago I remember looking at the wedding albums in the lobby of your studio. I knew then that you were the one who was going to do my wedding!” What is the moral of this wedding story? Never take an opportunity for granted! This family will be using me for years and years to come because I created the initial experience for them, planted marketing seeds, and have followed through with quality images that they happy to pay top dollar for. Take care of your clients…they WILL take care of you! B.H. –PS. Josh and I also had a family session on the way home from the wedding yesterday. What a day as well! I’ll blog about this fantastic family tomorrow.
Dream Assignment – Dream Couple! PART One
Saturday, Jun 28, 2008
My apologies for not posting yesterday, but we were traveling to our wedding location high up in the mountains of the Washington Cascades. Our couple for this weekend’s wedding are both avid rock climbers. In fact, that is how they met this year in New Mexico! Their wedding is being held at an incredible resort in Leavenworth, WA called The Sleeping Lady. Check it out at www.sleepinglady.com! After 25 years of doing over 1,000 weddings from Japan to Kansas City, Maui to Philly, this venue today has to be one of the most spectacular I have experienced! We arrived yesterday afternoon and started scouting out all the photographic opportunities- AMAZING! This location is defiantly one of the TOP 5 wedding destinations of my career…that’s saying something! After the rehearsal last night, we were able to photograph the couple for their DVD presentation, which will be viewed and the reception today. Enough about the dream assignment and venue, let’s talk about the dream couple! Josh and I were up at 6am this morning to meet with the couple, the bride’s father, and some friends, to go rock climbing! How many brides and grooms have YOU photographed that do rock climbing the day of the wedding! This is a first for me! More about this wedding tomorrow, Josh and I have to get ready to go shoot! But before I go, let me leave you with these words of wisdom: Be open to the possibilities! I can’t tell you how excited the bride and groom were when I asked them if I could go rock climbing with them. Their eyes lit up and they were so grateful this morning to have Josh and I there. That is what being a photographer is all about folks, capturing the passion and love for something…or someone! These images will be a big hit, but it is the willingness to go the extra mile that completes the experience for this bride and groom! Check out this week’s Image of the Week, we are posting it today instead of Monday because I want all of you to experience it as well! Till tomorrow, wish us luck today! B.H.
You Got to Believe!
Thursday, Jun 26, 2008
Hey everyone, Josh here! My dad has had a long today packed with a couple of sessions, a projection sale at a client’s home, and his webinar on newsletters is tonight. He also has to finish a DVD show for a senior client tonight and get ready for a weekend long wedding coverage starting tomorrow. So I decided give the old man a break and take the Daily Mentor Minute for a night. I talk to a lot of photographers from all over the country every day, many of which have the same questions for me and my dad. One that I here constantly is that their marketing is not working and they don’t have any business. I here this a lot, especially with the way the market is today. I am not talking about the economy, because there are plenty of photographers in areas like Detroit, MI (probably the worst economy in the United States right now) and they are doing fine. And disregard the influx of new photographers coming into the marketing pool. Just put that aside, because there will always be competition in any business, so that is not an excuse in my book. I think what it comes down to is giving your clients and prospective clients a reason to come in. Just sending out a 6x9 card advertising 50% off your family session fee and a FREE 8x10 is not enough, especially for the type of clientele you want to have. Newspaper ads, yellow page ads, whatever, are not working anymore. In today’s market you have to be actively involved in your marketing every day. Go to as many chamber of commerce meetings as you can. Network, network, network! Pin-point little niches in your area and send them a card that is custom their needs and wants. Try finding people who belong to HOG, the Harley Ownership Group. Send them a card with images of families and their Harleys! Flying clubs, people who live of lakes, season ticket holders for a local sports team, use your imagination! Also, for instance, you can talk to you local hospital’s Maternity ward and see if you can display some baby portraits like we are doing next month. Don’t just approach them though; it has to be a win-win. Try working with a charity or talk to someone has an in there. Just use your imagination and be sure to follow-up promptly and effectively to leads. Just remember that marketing is a process that evolves and moves forward every day. Think of it as a treadmill, the second you stop moving forward…you start to fall back! Don’t stop believing you can do this! J.H. –PS. Congratulations to Platinum Member Denise Jane from Aiken, SC on her first $10,000 + sale! You rock! Keep at it!
New Studio Catch Phrase: “It’s All About Relationships!”
Wednesday, Jun 25, 2008
This is our new catch phrase at the studio, “It’s ALL About Relationships!” I know I’m hung up on the whole relationship thing but it really is the core of any business. It is something that evolves in my business everyday. Keeping in touch with your clients is not an easy task. It takes time, experience, and is required if you want to maintain a more than healthy business. If you are not marketing to your existing client database, you need to start! I am not talking about sending them a 6x9 card with your latest monthly special offer. We are talking something that your clients are going to be excited about each and every time you send it out. Newsletters! Trust me, every time we mail ours out the phone rings with compliments and thanks…not to mention booking sessions! But newsletters can be tricky. I should know, I have been producing and sending them for 20 years! In fact, I just finished my latest webinar on newsletters. I feel this one is the best I have done so far! If you have ever thought of creating a newsletter for your studio, you NEED to be a part of my program tomorrow night! Just imagine, Thursday, June 26th @ 7pm CST, from the comfort of your own computer, you can learn the one thing that has made my business healthy and a extremely successful one for 25 years! For attending you will also receive a copy of our latest newsletter, a step-by-step guide on how to write your first newsletter, and a significant product discount on www.mystudiomentor.com. Seating is limited so make sure to visit www.marathonpress.com/education/webinars to reserve your spot! This business is all about relationships and newsletters are the most effective way to not only sustain your business year after year, but it will grow it as well. After the webinar you will be able to write your first newsletter, mail it, and integrate it into your marketing mix! Here’s a FREE tip about writing newsletters, don’t make them about your specials! Make them fun, interesting, and personal. Personalize…don’t commercialize! How do you do this effectively? Join me tomorrow! Hope to see you in the room! B.H.
Maximize Your Networking!
Tuesday, Jun 24, 2008
I just returned from my monthly Inner Circle Marketing Luncheon. This group follows the teachings of Dan Kennedy, one of the top copywriters in the world! If you haven’t read his book, The Ultimate Sales Letter, go buy it and read it now! During the meeting there is always time for some networking opportunities. One networking technique that I love to do is NOT having a business card on hand. “What? Are you crazy Hudson? That is what marketing is all about!” Go with me here, when someone gives me their card I apologize for not having one on me and mention (low key) that I’ll send them one. I imagine in their mind they are thinking, “What a flaky business owner, he’ll never send a card.” Oh yes I will…and a WHOLE lot more! In Dan Kennedy terms, this is called “THE BOMB!” In this particular situation I will be sending my bomb to a professional business coach that I met at the meeting today. Now, what can I provide in the way of services to a business coach? Could he or his clients be in need of business portraits? YES! Could he or his clients use some commercial photography? YOU BET! Does he have a family? OH YES! Will his kids need senior portraits or wedding coverage some day? SURE! The more we talked (networked) the more I learned about my new Inner Circle Member. Best of all, he also learned about me and the book I just finished last year, The Relationographer. www.relationographer.com for those of you who haven’t had a chance to read it yet, check it out. After summarizing and describing the concepts in my book he stated, “My clients should probably read this book!” I of course said, “Yes, they probably should.” Guess what else is going to be in “The Bomb?” You got it, the book as well! So he will be getting a nice packet from me that contains: My book, a commercial flyer, family portrait information brochures, senior portrait marketing pieces, our wedding packet, some Hudson’s candies, and nice letter that will be hand written by me! I have to go now and photograph a cranky 2 year old, but always remember that when you go to these type of networking meetings, make sure to do it to the MAX! For me it is following up the next day and blowing them away with “The Bomb!” B.H. –PS. Don’t miss my webinar this Thursday! It is all about newsletters! Check it out at http://www.marathonpress.com/education/webinars
Never Give Up!
Monday, Jun 23, 2008
Today I have been putting the finishing touches together for Thursday's webinar on "Relationship Marketing at it's BEST: Newsletters!" One of my relationship marketing rules is, "Just because you haven't heard from your clients, doesn't mean they haven't heard from you!" I can tell you story after story on how clients have come back into our lives simply because of our newsletters over the years. Not every client will use your services each and every year, but keeping yourself and your company in front of them will continue to pay off. If they are happy with what you have created for them in the past, they will use you again in the future when the need for your service is there. They will return, trust me! But (and there is always a but) you must keep in touch with them. The best way to do this is with a studio newsletter! We send out our newsletter out twice a year to our general database. Why two times a year? What do we write about? What does it cost to send it out? How many clients do we send it to? Join me this Thursday night at 7pm CST and I'll show you exactly how to make it work effectively in your business. And remember this, never, NEVER give up on a client...Never! B.H.
They’re coming out of the woodwork!
Friday, Jun 20, 2008
Where are they all coming from? Client after client has been calling for family portraits this summer! I just finished a consultation with a client I hadn’t seen or been in contact with for about 9 years. Well, I hadn’t heard from them, but they had heard from me via newsletters, cards, etc. They now have a 5 year old and a one year old. They are also building their first custom home! They are both dentists with extremely busy lives, but they have wanted get in touch with for some time. Well, today they did in a big way! Josh booked the consultation on Tuesday for today, I did the planning session this afternoon, and the session is booked for August 20th! Bottom-line my fellow photographers don’t give up on your past clients…ever! If they were happy with you, your work, you created a first class experience the last time, and you keep in touch with them, THEY WILL RETURN! This is why clients are coming out of the woodwork like crazy right now! Tomorrow Josh and I have a wedding, wish us luck! B.H. –PS. Be sure to give everyone of your clients a first class experience. Send a personal thank you with a gift card to a local restaurant, coffee shop, etc. Or today, for instance, I recommended a steakhouse down the street for my clients to dine at before they headed home. As soon as they left I called the manager of the steakhouse and told him to buy them a nice bottle of wine on me. I said, “Tell them Bruce say’s welcome back to the Hudson’s family!” Go the extra mile, especially with your repeat clients, it does pay off!
Old Dog…New Tricks
Thursday, Jun 19, 2008
I just finished interviewing one of my clients, Susie Bowers, for next month’s Monthly Mentor Program CD. Wow! She shared some incredible ideas. In fact, I am going to start implementing one of her ideas immediately! Susie is a consultant for the restaurant industry and has some pretty major clientele. I photographed her wedding 16 years ago and more recently I have been doing a ton of commercial work for her clients. One of her clients is The Parlor, an upscale billiards facility in Bellevue, WA. It is one of my favorite, more recent commercial sessions. Check out some of the shots at www.parlorbilliards.com. I can’t wait to have our Monthly Mentor Members hear her interview and to get started with some of the ideas Susie gave me! What strategy did I learn? I’ll give you a little hint…it has to do with high-end retirement communities! I am a firm believer in “Walking the Talk” and it wouldn’t be right for me to give you advice on a new idea without me actually doing it first! As I put all the pieces together, I’ll share with you in greater detail my action plan and how I executed it. Need some new marketing ideas? Just ask your clients! See, it is possible to teach an “Old Dog” new tricks! Till tomorrow. B.H.
Back to Some Basics
Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008
I don’t know if you knew this but we are going to be moving the studio from my commercial building location of 20 years to my new home. It is going to have a slightly different business model with no camera room. I will be shooting totally on-location! I will continue to be a part of my Renton Community (Chamber and Rotary in the city I am located in currently) but I am also now becoming active in the communities near our new location as well. Active to me means joining the Chamber and putting a face to our business. This is an essential part of any small business start-up, especially if you’re changing locations like we are. Joining the Chamber and putting a plaque on your wall is one thing, but taking advantage of all the events is another. How many of you are NOT a member of your local Chamber? How many of you are members but are TOO BUSY to attend any meetings or volunteer? Don’t take these opportunities for granted! In this business climate today, sometimes we need to go back to some of the basics of marketing. Plus, for joining you have access to the list of businesses and contact information for all members. We’re talking names, addresses, and emails! You should be marketing to these people! Get out there and put a face to your photography business. It is one way to set yourself apart from the growing competition in your area. Take the time to give back and help your community, it is one step into becoming a Rock Star in your community! Josh and I are off to a Chamber Luncheon, till tomorrow! B.H.
“I look at our family portrait and smile everyday!”
Monday, Jun 16, 2008
Hi everyone, Josh here. My dad is busy working on some website updates for our Monthly Mentor Members. We are so excited; we are building an exclusive “Members ONLY Area” that should be finished in a few weeks! Anyway, I thought I would take a few moments and talk about the two family sessions my dad and I had this weekend. The first was on Saturday, my dad actually blogged about it on 6/14. We will be posting an image from that session for this week’s Image of the Week. It was our client’s 50th birthday and he had flown his whole family in to Seattle to celebrate with him. Since everyone was going to be together, what a great time for some family portraits! My dad and I set up shop at his beautiful home on the shores of Lake Washington. We did some fun casual portraits of the families outside and then moved inside for some more formal ones. We also recreated an older family portrait that was taken in the 1960’s. The image of the week really captures what my dad was talking about on Saturday’s blog “Eccentric People = Eccentric Portraits.” Then on Sunday we had a session with a family that my dad has worked with many times before, The Crowes. But their last real family portrait was taken in 1986, so it was time for an update! The family was so warm and inviting, a truly enjoyable experience for me, my little sister McKenna, my dad, and the Crowe family. The first words out of Maureen’s (The Mom) mouth was, “I look at our family portrait and smile every day!” This family was really into the whole process, they truly cherish and love what my dad creates for them…and it shows! These are the type of clients we all strive to service. We actually documented the entire session, start to finish, for a future DVD or a NEW Video On-Demand Download coming soon to the website. The images turned out great and they will be viewing/ordering them this week, I’ll let you how it turns out! Be sure to treat your P.C.’s (Premier Clients) with respect and understand that it is not just about getting the huge sale RIGHT NOW, but it is all about a lifetime of revenue. Our two clients this weekend are examples of clients that have kept us busy and profitable over the years, even during this volatile time in the industry where so many studios are hurting. Be sure to keep in touch with them, it WILL pay off! J.H.
Eccentric Clients Equals Eccentric Portraits
Saturday, Jun 14, 2008
One of the characteristics of my “perfect” client is that they are eccentric! Not all of my so-called P.C.’s are eccentric, but most of them! They’re looking for something different and unique. This was the case today with a session we just finished on the shores of Lake Washington. My client is the inventor of the world famous game, Pictionary. I first worked with him 18 years ago at his wedding. He was eccentric then and is delightfully eccentric now. All of his family came in from across the country for his 50th birthday celebration! It was the perfect time to up-date his family portraits! What was fun for me was that I didn’t have to abide by the most traditional rules of portraiture. Would these images score well in any print competition? Not likely. But are my client and his family going to love these images? Absolutely! To make an outstanding living in this business you need to cater to your client’s needs and desires. With this situation, eccentric clients deserve eccentric portraits. You know what? It was one of the most entertaining sessions I’ve done in a long time! Till tomorrow.
Marketing…It Does Work!
Friday, Jun 13, 2008
A big thank you to everyone that attended the webinar on charity auctions last night. We had some awesome questions and comments afterwards! Thanks again! I just got out of a “killer” family consultation. The client just received our summer Portrait Safari card last week and is interested in our Cannon Beach experience this August. You know how I talk about finding the perfect client; well this one is a perfect client. I have never worked with this client before but they have been receiving marketing pieces from me for the last 4 years. One of our “Pin-Point” targeted marketing strategies is directed towards prospects living on lakes. In fact, this strategy will be the topic of my webinar on August 7th. Anyway, this client lives on one of the lakes that we have been mailing to for a few years now. So they have seen my work and how I can incorporate their home on the lake into a wall portrait. This was not a priority for them, but when they saw that we were doing something different and unique (Portrait Safaris) they were finally hooked! I can’t wait to get started with these clients. The chemistry was amazing; we had so much in common. They are into wine, much like I am, and I actually have a fine art print of their favorite winery in my lobby, talk about a homerun! I have a “Go-See” scheduled for Wednesday to see their and start the design process with them. With all that said, you need to create a marketing plan…and then WORK the plan! It does pay off. Sometimes overnight, but mostly in takes months, and in this case, years. Marketing…It Does Work! B.H. PS-I’ll keep you in the loop about this client; it’s going to be good!
Join me tonight!
Thursday, Jun 12, 2008
I just put the finishing touches on my Webinar presentation for tonight. I'm going to be sharing The "ART" of donating to charity auctions. Auctions are a great way to get your work out in the community and acquire some new incredible clients. I will show you all the secrets needed to make auctions a successful part of your marketing! For more information check out www.marathonpress.com/education/webinars Hope you can join me! 5pm pacific, 6pm Mt., 7pm central, 8pm eastern
A Day of Mastermind!
Wednesday, Jun 11, 2008
I belong to a marketing group that is affiliated with the Glazer Kennedy Business Model. Every other month we spend a full day analyzing, brainstorming, beating up each others marketing strategies. I think it is one of the best things I can do for my business. The group is very diverse with all types of business owners. We have a realtor, car racing equipment salesman, bookstore owner, employment profile guru, retail supply store CEO, body shop owner, custom closets, window washing services and an “adult only” store CEO. See what I mean about a diverse crowd?
Each of us has about 40-50 minutes to go over the results of our last marketing strategy and then share the upcoming month’s ideas. No one in our group holds back and this is where it gets bloody! I cannot tell you how beneficial this process is. It’s one thing to network and share with fellow photographers; I love that, but if you want to gain a new perspective on your business and marketing, these kinds of Mastermind groups are awesome!
Sometimes we need to get our heads out of the computers and out in the Real World with people other than photographers. Start your own Mastermind group in your town. Beat up on each other and gain a new perspective on your business. Till tomorrow! B.H.
The Wheels Keep Turning! Part Two
Tuesday, Jun 10, 2008
This will be a short one today, Josh and I have been working hard to get June’s E-Newsletter out to y’all as well as putting the finishing touches on this month’s Studio Success Guide for The Monthly Mentor. Look at that, I go to my first country concert a few days ago and I am already saying y’all! Anyway, after the phone starts ringing with prospects and clients, YOU need to follow-up! Even if someone does not book a consultation, get their name, address, and email. Send them a letter thanking them for calling and also send them more information. More importantly, get them into your database. For the people that are booking, still send them a thank you letter along with a reminder card about their appointment. It is also essential that you send thank you cards to your clients after the sessions and sales are complete. “Wow, I don’t have time for that”, you are probably thinking, but I think Josh has a quick tip to make this task of following up a little less daunting. One of the first things that he does in the morning is open up a Word Document for making mailing labels. He leaves that open all day. Anytime he takes a call, he takes notes down on a pad of paper; it is a lot easier to remember a conversation when you have notes to reference back to. He also inputs their name and address down onto his Word Document labels. The last 30 minutes of the day, he goes through his list of calls, types his letters (which are all templates for different categories like a senior inquiry letter, family consultation letter, portrait pick-up thank, etc), gathers brochures and price lists, then prints all his labels out. Within 15-30 minutes an entire days follow-up letters are complete and ready for the post office on the way home. Try Josh’s method, it seems to work well! B.H.
The Wheels Keep on Turning! Part One
Monday, Jun 09, 2008
Don’t you just love when marketing works the way it is supposed too? Today we had several calls that resulted in booking one family consultation for a session at Cannon Beach, OR and one on-location senior session at Safe Co. Field in Seattle. Both prospects just received our summer marketing card promoting Portrait Safaris. So far, a great response! Both have received our mailings for the past few years, with our first contact being one of our Custom Lake Cards that I have blogged about before. This summer’s card finally made them pull the trigger and call me. My point is this, just because a marketing card does not get your phone ringing off the hook right away (like these 2 prospects, they have been on our mailing list for a few years), doesn’t mean that it didn’t do its job. Sometimes it takes multiple marketing experiences to work. Why do I say experiences? Not all marketing is in the form of a card, it can be at an auction, seeing a print at The Street of Dreams, maybe my work in a friend’s home, etc. Like for instance, today, I answered an email from a woman about her wedding. Instead of just emailing her my prices and hoping she calls me back, I picked up the phone and talked to her personally. Turns out she had been recommend to me by two completely different people in her life. We will go over referrals some other time; let’s get back to today’s topic. Don’t give up, if you are discouraged with a lack luster marketing response, try to figure out how to make the particular campaign work better. Maybe add a testimonial, some different images, mail it to different income levels, etc. This is actually a service we provide for our Platinum Members by helping them develop successful marketing campaigns and strategies. I will be covering one of the most powerful and inexpensive marketing concepts that we have used at the studio for 2 decades this Thursday at my next webinar: The “Art” of Donating to Charity Auctions. Go to www.marathonpress.com/education/webinars for more information. Ok, so the wheel starts turning, the phone is ringing, now what? Tomorrow I will talk about efficiently and effectively following up when you do have inquiries! Till then, B.H.
The Vegas Experience
Sunday, Jun 08, 2008
Hi everyone, Josh here, just off the plane from Las Vegas! I took a much needed vacation this weekend and I just returned this afternoon. My girlfriend Melissa and I decided to go because her favorite country artist was playing at the MGM Grand Hotel, Kenny Chesney! If you read my dad’s blog from yesterday, he went to the same concert a few days ago in Portland, OR. Wow, what a great show! This was my second time seeing him live and I am more impressed than ever. So what does this have to do with anything? As I was sitting in the audience, well, standing, I was analyzing the experience. Why do people go to concerts? They are expensive. The tickets were in the hundreds of dollars, the beers were $9 a piece, and virtually everyone in the audience was from somewhere other than Las Vegas. All of us could have just listened to some Kenny songs on our IPods and just lay by the pool. It’s just music, right? WRONG! Going to a concert is an experience. The lights, videos, graphics, live music, the crowd, the energy, and the vibe, that is what Melissa and I paid for. Some people need this experience. They want it. They love it. But not everyone is willing to shell out the dough to make it happen. Concert goers are the same type of people that you need to connect with. They are the ones that realize that going to a concert is not about listening to music, much like going to a professional photographer is not just about the buying pieces of paper with pictures on them. If you think you are in the photography business, I am sorry to say that you are mistaken. You are in the relationship and experience business. Some people are just satisfied with going to Wal-Mart and “investing” in the $19.95 package. Others will be willing to “invest” a great deal more for something truly special. Here is my advice to you for today, treat yourself to something special. Whether it is a nice dinner out at a fine dining establishment, test driving a luxury car, or a taking a nice vacation, you need to experience something special in order to understand what that type of consumer is looking for. Because those type of people are the clients that will truly value what you can create for them. This is the fundamental difference between just buying an album on ITunes and going to a live concert. It’s the same music, right? A great place to find consumers like this is at charity auctions. A lot of items up for auction are experiences. Whether it is a vacation for two to Hawaii at a private beach house, or a ticket to the Richard Petty NasCar Driving Experience in Las Vegas, these people love to pay for experiences. Charity auctions are one of the ways we connect with that type of clientele. It just so happens that my dad is doing a webinar on exactly that this Thursday at 7pm CST. He will be going extremely in-depth on how to get started, what to put for auction to maximize your profits, some dos and don’ts, and much more! For more information, go to www.marathonpress.com/education/webinars. My dad will have the blog for tomorrow, have a great Sunday everyone! Josh
I Survived My First Country Concert Experience!
Saturday, Jun 07, 2008
If you haven’t read the June 4th Blog, please do it now. Thanks!
I made it…I survived my first country concert experience. Having a musical background, the thought of Country music to a “trained” Classical & Jazz musician is really hard to grasp! So what’s the verdict? You know—it was an amazing show! Kenny Chesney has an incredible voice and a fantastic show. I love to “people watch” and this was a virtual ocean of diversity for that!
Here are some of my observations…1. Country fans and the performers have an extremely strong connection with each other. Kenny did a great job of relating to the local people and the area. I saw an example of this some 30 years ago when I got to play with the legendary Bob Hope. Many of his jokes were tailored to the local cities and included local terminology (I go over this in detail in my book—The Relationographer)--Shameless plug 2. Country fans have the ability to drink large quantities of beer. 3. Despite this “so called” downturn in the economy, country fans still spend a lot of money on the things that are important to them--$100 tickets, $30 t-shirts & $9 beers. 4. Besides the connection I mentioned, I felt Kenny’s songs stirred up some deeper emotions. His song “Don’t Blink” talks about missing important moments in your life. This is something we can all relate to and the fans certainly did that night.
All in all, my first country concert experience went very well. Terri’s already looking forward to booking me out for the next one. Isn’t love a wonderful thing? BH
It's Your Choice!
Friday, Jun 06, 2008
1.FOCUS ON THE SOLUTION-focus on the problem 2.HAVE A BALANCE IN LIFE-have no balance in life 3.NOT AFRAID OF FAILING-fears failure 4.WELCOMES CHANGE-avoids change 5.BUILDS UP OTHERS-tears down others 6.DOES IT NOW-puts thing off till later 7.USES TIME EFFECTIVELY-wastes time 8.IS A GOOD LISTENER-talks too much!
Life is about CHOICES! BH
Empowering your Team!
Wednesday, Jun 04, 2008
After a day of wine tasting in the heart of Oregon wine country yesterday we traveled to our next destination, Vancouver, Washington, just across the Columbia River. The main purpose of our “mini” vacation was the Kenny Chesney concert last night. Terri is a huge fan of this guy and I’m being a “good husband” experiencing the concert with her. Actually, I’m really looking forward to the concert because of my music background and appreciate all forms of live performances- even country. I’m also looking forward to seeing my wife of almost 8 months excited to be in the audience.
Last night we stayed at a very unique hotel, The Heathman Lodge. Terri found it online and from the looks of it, we thought we’d be in the middle of the woods! It turned out to be right off the highway next to a shopping mall! The moment we walked in we knew this was a special place. Some wonderful surprises like having both of the reception ladies at the counter saying welcome! How about Tempur Pedic mattresses and Bow Flex work out equipment delivered to the room? Pretty cool, huh? We struck up a conversation with the bartender and found out that he’s been at the hotel from the beginning, nearly ten years. He mentioned that he was planning on only working a year or so and then moving into something more substantial. “What changed your mind to stay?” I asked. I was amazed at the answers he gave me. (1) Full benefits like a big company gives, but with the feel of a small company. (2) Everyone is here because they love working here. (3) They hire based on personality- they can train anyone to do anything. But you can’t control their personally. (4) This is the big one- management empowers us to make decisions on our own. “I want to give you a complimentary glass of wine (he said this as he was pouring one) or a free desert I can do it!” He mentioned because of the trust and latitude we are given, it makes it a great place to work! WOW! So, how are you empowering your team members? Our thing that I’ve done over the years is allowing my staff to order flowers without asking me when they hear of something good or bad happening to one of our client’s lives. When you are empowered you feel a more elevated sense of worth and that’s a wonderful thing! Did we get a free desert? Yes! Did we need it? Ah no! Till Tomorrow, B.H.
What Inspires You Part II
Tuesday, Jun 03, 2008
On May 19th I wrote about an inspiring young lady I had the pleasure to work with. She had lost her leg in a car accident but not her desire to live life to the fullest. She proved that by making the varsity tennis team. What inspires you? We all need inspiration from time to time. For me, it’s what helps fuel my creative juices. Last night, Terri and I had a meal that we would call inspirational. We are smack dab in the middle of Oregon Wine County. This area is known for its Pinot Noir. Usually, Pinots are higher end wines and you only find them in super nice restaurants. Well we found one of those restaurants last night in the little town of Dundee, population 3,000! One of the features of the Dundee Bistro is that they change their menu twice a day. There is no set menu, only the fresh sheet for lunch and then a different fresh sheet for dinner. The chef was young and extremely creative! The staff was extremely knowledgeable about the local wines and the whole experience was fantastic. As I’ve mentioned before, we get our inspiration from many different resources. What has inspired you lately? Email me at Bruce@Mystudiomentor.com with your story! B.H.
Is the Sky Really Falling?
Monday, Jun 02, 2008
It seems that all you hear about these days is how bad the economy is and how gas prices are the root of all evil. Yesterday I tried to make a quick trip to Target to purchase a birthday gift for my great niece, who turns one tomorrow (that makes me feel really old). The mall parking lot was packed with cars and it took forever to go through the checkout line. It’s funny that with all the gloom and doom we’re supposed to be going through right now, people are still spending money! Beware of some of the talking heads on T.V. Much of their talking points are politically motivated. Just watch after the November election, no matter who wins the economy doom and gloom will calm down. Even in a “Real Recession” (and I’ve been through a few of them), the consumer spends money. Maybe not as much as we would like them too- but they will spend! So don’t panic or lower your prices. Just keep working your plan! Keep coming back here every day and I’ll help you through these times where the media is telling us “The Sky is Falling.” I’ll be in touch from the heart of the Oregon “Wine Country” where some of the best pinots are produced- until then, B.H.
The Best Investment!
Sunday, Jun 01, 2008
One of the ways we set ourselves apart is with a “Go-See.” Not many studios are willing to take the time. A “Go-See” is exactly what it sounds like; we go to the client’s home prior to the session to view possible locations where the finished family portraits will go. I cover this is exact detail and even show a mock “Go-See” with an actually client of mine in The Secrets of Projection Sales DVD Set. I will go over briefly today the key points of a “Go-See” but the DVD set would be a great investment if you want to see one in action, not to mention our entire sales process. So why spend the extra time, energy, and gas to visit your client’s home? Simple, the more time you invest in the planning stage of the portrait session the more your client’s are willing to invest with you. It will also take the speculation out if the after portrait ordering and sales process. How do I know this? Experience- Trust me on this one. So, what is the purpose of the “Go-See?” (1) To view the potential wall(s) space for their portraits- Start discussing proper sizes for the images. (2) Help in the selection of clothing that will enhance the overall design of the portrait in congruence with the color palate of the home. (3) Once again, discuss and propose proper sizes of the portraits- What sizes should they be looking to invest in. (4) Go over pricing again- Continue to let the “soaking law” take effect. (5) Continue to build rapport. Relationships take time to cultivate in business. And business (any business) is all about relationships! As I mentioned before, this “Go-See” is an important step in the planning for the portrait session. Yes it takes time, energy, and gas but it is the best investment you could ever make in yourself and business. This stuff really does work! B.H.