Book More Clients Photography Podcast - Build a Five Figure+ Photography Business

Finding Your Niche & Birth Photography: Interview with Tavia Redburn

September 26, 2019 Brooke Jefferson Episode 27
Book More Clients Photography Podcast - Build a Five Figure+ Photography Business
Finding Your Niche & Birth Photography: Interview with Tavia Redburn
Book More Clients Photography Podcast - Build a Five Figure+ Photography Business
Finding Your Niche & Birth Photography: Interview with Tavia Redburn
Sep 26, 2019 Episode 27
Brooke Jefferson

Today on the podcast I'm talking with my girl Tavia Redburn. Tavia is an Oklahoma City birth photographer who is passionate about showing moms the beauty in new motherhood with birth & newborn photography. Not only that, but she also trains other birth photographers on how to get and stay fully booked. We are talking all about birth photography, finding and KILLING IT in your niche and why being repulsive is sometimes a good thing. ;) 

Tune into the episode to learn more about what Tavia has to say!

Join us on Facebook 

Join us on Instagram

Show Notes Transcript

Today on the podcast I'm talking with my girl Tavia Redburn. Tavia is an Oklahoma City birth photographer who is passionate about showing moms the beauty in new motherhood with birth & newborn photography. Not only that, but she also trains other birth photographers on how to get and stay fully booked. We are talking all about birth photography, finding and KILLING IT in your niche and why being repulsive is sometimes a good thing. ;) 

Tune into the episode to learn more about what Tavia has to say!

Join us on Facebook 

Join us on Instagram

spk_1:   0:08
Welcome to the brain your way. Photography podcast. I'm your host, Bert Jefferson. I'm a wife, Mama to two and full time photographer in business. I created this podcast with the inspiring photographer in mine to bring you inspired stories. Strategies to help you go from zero to mostly figures and tips and tricks to get one step closer to work. Life harmony. Are you ready to bring your way to your dream career? Let's dive in. All

spk_0:   0:39
right, guys, today my podcast guest is Tae be a Red burn. And I am so excited for you guys to get to know her. I met her online, which is funny because she's actually in my very own state of Oklahoma, which is so cool. And I love how social media allows you to connect with other people. And I can't wait Freak it for you guys to get to know her. So teii via please introduce yourself to my listeners.

spk_1:   1:10
Hi. Hey. I knew that you were in Oklahoma and I just forgot again. That's what's so magnificent about the World Wide Web, I guess. Yes. My name is Tae Via Red Burn. I am a birth and newborn photographer. in Oklahoma City, and I also trained birth photographers on how to run successful businesses.

spk_0:   1:31
I love that. Which is why I found you in the first place is because I have dabbled my see my toes, whatever into birth photography. And I have a couple of sessions under my belt. However, I ended up signing up for your five day free course, which is something that you could talk about Thio when we head into this interview a little bit. But no, I started to get to know who you were, what you did, what you taught. And then I had all intentions of starting my birth photography section of my business back up. But it just didn't work out realistically for where we're at with our kids stage of life. I think once they're back in school, it's gonna be much easier to maintain. So for now, that hold. But yes, so we kind of gave it away. You are a burst of new born photographer, but tell us how photography even became a career for you.

spk_1:   2:36
Man, how far back do you want to go? So in 2009 that which makes a full ancient in 2009 to 10 years ago. I was just your typical mom with the camera. Like I just wanted to learn how to take better photos of my son, who was about eight months old at the time. And, um, I bought my first DSLR, which was a Canon rebel, and took a little class here in Norman. Not here. I don't live in Norman, but in Norman, Oklahoma just had a lot on my camera. Had Thio use my camera well, how to shoot in manual. And once I started figuring out all the things that I could do with my camera, I was hooked. I, um, joined all kinds of forms that were no Facebook or respect then. So I joined all kinds of four rounds to learn about how to use a camera, all about lighting. I was 100% self taught, like I never took a formal photography class or anything like that, and I started my business. Then, of course, that it evolved into wow, you take great photos. I want you to take great photos of my kids and me and all that, and I was doing what a lot of my students start out doing which is charging what they feel like is quote reasonable. And so I was charging, you know, $50 or $100 here and there, Um, Thio get my name out there and see if I could make you know, some side income with photography. This is probably 2011 ish. I decided to go ahead and make it a business. And so in 2000 11 late 2011 I was pregnant with my second child, and I, um, hired a birth photographer who didn't show up. I, um yeah hired her. She didn't show up. I was in labor for a really long time. Or photography wasn't really a thing back then. Um, there were few people that did it, but nobody specialized in it. And not a lot of people knew about it back then. Um, so after that experience, basically what ended up happening was I was induced on a Monday morning and she thought that I would have my baby on Monday. Well, I didn't have him until Tuesday night, and she when we told her to come, she said she didn't have child care. And so that she couldn't come because she wasn't prepared from my labor to be so long. Basically. And so I, um, decided from then on out, I had just started my photography business, like, a little bit before then. And I decided I wanted to specialize in birth photography, or at least do birth photography. I don't know if at that time, I wanted to specialize in particular, but I knew I wanted to do bird photography. Um, because I felt like there weren't reliable people doing it. You know, I I didn't want what happened to me toe happen to another mom. And so I decided that I shot me first birth in January 2012 which was just for my cousin, Um And then from there I charged tiny bits of money to grow my portfolio, and I was shooting other things at the same time. And then I decided probably 2014 ish that I wanted Thio specialize. I wanted Thio niche down and really be known for something. So I decided that was gonna be babies and birth and I wanted to do birth all the time. I wanted to do birth 100% that I was worried that I wouldn't make enough money specializing in birth. I didn't want to be known as I didn't want to restrict myself basically, So I don't remember the adapt exact dates or exactly what happened. But I just knew what I liked shooting and what I didn't like shooting. I knew the sessions I was looking forward to, and the sessions I wasn't looking bored Thio on. And I had also realized at that point that I wanted Thio really make a go of this and really make real income with photography that I had to learn business. And I had to learn marketing because, you know, any photographer listening to this and really any business owner knows that you feel like your market is saturated no matter what it feels like. Everybody does what you do. And so you're constantly thinking, How do I stand out? And a lot of people, I think, make them a stake of lowering their price. They think, Well, I'll stand out or I'll get hired more easily if my prices lower, Um, and that's just a race to the bottom like that's That's not the way to get more clients So I was. I was realizing that if I was going to charge what I needed to make, um, I had to specialize and I had to learn business, and I had to learn marketing. So 2015 I really started learning marketing and the things that I could do to stand out in the ways that I could serve my client. That's really well to create this fantastic experience for them. And, um, gosh, 2015 16. My business really picked up in 2016 Um, I increased my prices by 40% which was terrifying at the time. I went from charging $850 for birth to $1250 for birth. And I know a lot of my students tell me you know how terrifying that is. And I very vividly remember those feelings because I thought nobody's gonna hire me from over $1000 like it's over for me. I'm not getting hired, but I'll just see what happens in my very first booking. After I resigned, prices booked my highest package and added on a travel fee, and it was $1800 so I had gone from charging 8 50 my very next booking was $1850. So then I started learning the importance of pricing psychology and what that looks like. So that was also a pivotal point for my business to understand that there are people who will hire you because you're the quote best. You're the most extensive. They view you as the best, and there are people who would hire you for that's, um so my business was doing great. 17 4018 I, uh, was booked. I was, you know, my calendar was booked with birth and newborns and then the family sessions that happened as a result of working with all those families, our entire marriage. My husband had been in a job that he did not like. He always just, you know, worked really hard to provide for us but never was able to fulfill his passions. And so in 2018 and June, we were able to My business was able to make enough income that he quit his 9 to 5. So we have three kids and we home school those kids. So he was able to put his 9 to 5 last year in 2018 and also in 2018 is whenever I launched the Beauty and Birth, which trains Bird Photographer really photographers. How to get a fully booked calendar by specializing in something. And we talk about specializing in birth. And so I've had over 100 students go through the course in about a year, a little over a year. And so now I'm just continuing toe. I mean, honestly, live the dream. Like my husband is able to pursue his passions of acting and filmmaking. He stays home with the kids on we still home school, and I'm running both businesses full time. So we're both Our whole family is just happier than we've ever been.

spk_0:   10:00
Wow, I love your story so much. I was already wowed at the beginning of it and that, as you just kept telling it and going on and bringing us all the way, you know, currently to where you guys are, I just It's just incredible to hear. And I want to back up to the beginning and I want to touch on something you had mentioned that you knew that you wanted to specialize or at least photographed births do to kind of your own experience. I mean, kind of go into that a little bit for me because I hear a lot of people learn things from their own experiences or inspires them. I've hear a lot of companies, you know, they see a problem or they had a bad experience that they create something to get a better experience or to help people prevent them from having to go through what they went through. So tell

spk_1:   11:01
me a little bit

spk_0:   11:01
more about Was it your birth? That or your experience around your birth? That really kind of opened your eyes and you were like, Wow, I I hope no one is ever told that their photographer can't calmer. I'll just let you elaborate.

spk_1:   11:18
Yeah, that's exactly what it was like in the moment. I, um in the moment didn't care so much because I was like pushing. But, you know, looking, I realized how devastating that was to rely on somebody who didn't show up for you. And that's not that's what we say all the time. You know, you don't get a redo with your birth. Um, you don't get a do over is similar to weddings. In that way, once it's done, it's done. And so, yeah, having that experience of hiring somebody who was not prepared to handle the awful lifestyle of birth is definitely something that catapulted me into. I had never shot a berth at that time, so I didn't know anything about it other than I was a photographer and I wanted to try it out because I felt like, um, if I could do it, I knew I could provide a really, really good product that people could rely on me for, and that's been sort of the basis of my business ever since is, I want to be somebody that people can rely on, and I want to be reliable, like I want to be somebody who shows up when they say they're gonna show up

spk_0:   12:29
Yeah, these air, huge moments in life. And like you said, once it's done, it's done. So for someone, Thio kind of spoil that experience for you. I can only imagine kind of like what those feelings are, and I know, especially if you have, it's Sometimes it's not even about the money they've invested into you. It's the hope in and knowing and being able Thio prepped for their delivery day, knowing that, Hey, I can just sit back, you know, not relax because there's no Alexis Upper. But the totally be in the moment, knowing that someone else is documenting their day. They don't have to have a worry in the world about that and then to be be met with complete disappointment like that. I don't know. That's just really powerful that that's kind of the experience you were able to build your business on, not just for bursts, but for everything else. That's just absolutely incredible. I also want us to touch on specializing or knee shing down. However you want to say it because this is something that I preach on. I just I think that when we start out with photography, I understand go through an experimental stage and in the beginning I shot anything and everything. But I also learned through that what I enjoyed photographing what I did not enjoy photographing and all the things in between and what I'm realizing is when you are able to specialize in something, you become the go to person for what you are for what you're trying to photograph. So I just I really want to hear your take on specializing in something and how important that is to photographers.

spk_1:   14:18
Yeah, I absolutely agree with everything that you just say. I think one of the biggest mistakes that photographers make is being a generalist. When you're a jack of all trades, your master of none. And when you're a generalist, you're easily compared to other photographers because there's nothing particularly special or unique about you. And so they look at you and say, while she does families and newborns and seniors and weddings and pets and landscapes and, you know, whatever. So why Why would I pay top dollar for somebody who kind of does everything I know for me if I just think about myself, If I am gonna hire somebody for a really big day like a birth or wedding, I want the best. I want somebody who's been doing it a long time. Who really knows what they're doing because I know that I don't get a It's like a chance of that. And so when I'm shopping around for those big things like that, like a newborn of birth a wedding, a senior, that kind of a thing, like I want to pay more money for somebody who does it well. And I think that by specializing like that, it's one of the top ways that you can stand out in your market.

spk_0:   15:27
I completely agree. And I know what spinning in some people's heads because it is the objection that I also had before. I really understood what, specializing in itching down Woz and that is you feel like you are restricting yourself to one thing. You feel like you're actually turning away clients. But what what do you believe? Happens?

spk_1:   15:52
Um, you are turning away clients, and that's a good thing, because whenever you're turning away clients, it means that you're able Thio speak directly to the actual person that's going to hire you. So it's something that we talk a lot about in a in my course. But we talked about having an ideal client profile, and so when you have an ideal client profile for a specific genre photography, everything that you do in your marketing speaks to that one person. And so I used the example of birth photographer. I often shoot this image of a baby attached to a placenta. And obviously the placenta is in the photo, and it's just you can see before they cut the court, usually in home birds. It's just kind of a top down, any conceivable every time I post something like that or shared in an e mail or whatever I get unlike ce unsubscribe, unfollowed like I am repelling people. And when my students talk to me about telling people I'm like, Hey, go girl, yes, that's what we want because when you're repelling people, you're simultaneously being a magnet for your ideal client. So somebody looks at that, sends a picture, and they think, Oh my gosh, why would anyone want that photo? Why I'm enabling at this? That's so gross. That's one kind of person. Then there's another kind of person who's like, Oh, my gosh, that's so cool how she did it. Uh, that's so creative. I love that I love that in my birth, and they become more drawn to me versus if I have this vanilla photo of a family. And I say such and such feeling was so beautiful this Saturday. I'm not gonna offend anyone, but I'm also not going to attract anyone. And that's the downside of being a journalist. Is you're really speaking to No, but you're kind of speaking to everybody, which isn't going to get anyone's attention. So we talk a lot about intentionally repelling people for that reason, because you're gonna simultaneously attract the right people.

spk_0:   17:48
I love the idea of the repelling on the attracting, and you'll notice that every single business does this. And especially today, I'm starting to realize, Ah, lot of companies. I don't know if it's brave stuff getting braver, but they're getting more controversial. They're talking about things, knowing that they're gonna have you know, this line down the middle people who agree, people who disagree. But that's what they want, because when you are able to, you know, agree on something that is controversial, you're just attracting those people to you. You're also getting rid of the fans who were never going to become clients of yours anyway, So they were kind of just sitting ducks and just the whole idea. It almost seems backwards when people start learning about mission and specializing. I know it's probably one of the hardest things to let go, but it's It's so it's just so beneficial. So I hope that if anybody took anything away from our you know, our talk, that that that's it. But you need to specialize in one or two things that needs to be what people associate. So if you were to become pregnant, they're gonna think of Oh, my gosh. I have to hire Tae bia for our birth photos and our new board photos. And that's what you want. That's exactly

spk_1:   19:04
absolutely, Yeah, that's what ends up happening. Sorry to interrupt. You know, that's what dinner, that's what ends up happening is people will be on my email list so they'll be following on social media well before they're pregnant. But they'll tell me, I know when I get pregnant, I want to hear you are I've been following you for this many years, and I know that when I, um I have ah, next lady. Like I'm stating to hire you right now. I've had people tell me they're they're saving up for me before they're even pregnant on that. Those are the kind of clients that you get when you specialize. And so I totally understand this feeling of feeling like you're excluding people in like you're not gonna get hired. But the opposite is actually true. For the same reason that I told you when my prices were $850 I increased them by 40%. And I was I got hired Maur that year. I don't think I mentioned that, but I booked more births at that price point than I had previously, and it seems counterintuitive. But whenever you're speaking directly to that person, you're able to attract them. So I know that it's theory. And trust me, I know a lot of people struggle with this, but it was a game changer for my business. It really, really was whenever I started specializing and being known for something.

spk_0:   20:13
Yeah, and I think another game changer you touched on to was this whole pricing psychology thing. And I definitely want to pick your brain just a little bit. You don't have to give it all away, but I would love to hear, you know, just give us some tips on price in psychology. What are a couple of things that have truly transformed the way that you view pricing your service is and then everybody else can get the rest of it inside. Of course.

spk_1:   20:39
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I don't mind talking about it at all. So the main thing is not finding yourself in no man's land, which is you're not the cheapest in. You're not the most expensive. You're kind of in between. I personally like being one of the most extensive because it just elevates your brand in the mine. In the eyes of other people, it elevates your what you do. It really does. And so a lot of it has to do with, um Hill. Your ideal client is there's nothing wrong with being the cheaper photographer. But I wouldn't hang out there for very long because, like, I kind of touched on earlier. It's just a race to the bottom. You know, I get people in our Facebook group all the time here, like I'm only charging $100 but they found somebody that's cheaper, like there's no way I can raise my prices because they're not even willing to pay $100. That's totally not your client, because there are people who will pay $3000 more for birth photography in Oklahoma like people like to use their location as a reason that they can't get hired to. And, um, so surprising Psychology really comes down, Thio one. Obviously, you have to be confident in the product that you're providing in order to charge a lot of money for what you d'oh. But there is something to be said for being the most expensive. There's something that happens in our mind. It's like when you're at Target and you look and you see two sets of sheets and they're both the same thread count and they look the same. But one is $20 one's $200. Like which one do you think is better? The $200.1

spk_0:   22:20
$100? I think it's better. And then I think it comes down to the next question. Which are you willing to pay,

spk_1:   22:26
right? Yeah, so it looks you look at it and you think OK, it's $200. Well, whether or not you buy the more expensive one you're thinking the $200.1 must be better, or whether or not you buy it or not. That's what happens in our minds with pricing. Psychology is, we think um with think the more expensive one is better on. The last thing that I want to say about pricing psychology when it comes to packages is you always wanna dry if you have packages. And that's how you have your pricing structure set up, which it is, how I have mind set up. Um, I want to drive them to the middle package not to get too technical. But there is something psychologically, people just kind of want the middle like you go to Starbucks and it's like, uh, venti, you have grand A. You have tall people like I'll do wrong day. Most people choose rendezvous. Most people choose the medium because they don't want to go to big that I want to go to small be cheap. They go for the middle. So when you're when you're structuring your packages, think about your middle being what you want to sell the most, because that's what people are gonna gravitate towards.

spk_0:   23:31
That is so true. I order mediums everywhere except sauna. Cappy, our But But I will say Okay, so that sparks a question. Me. What if someone only has two packages? Obviously, I realised we're trying to get to three. That's the whole point. You want to push people to choose your middle package, But psychology wise, what have you seen happen? If you only have two options, does that automatically mean they're gonna pick the lower

spk_1:   24:01
option? Um, if you only have two packages, I would make 1/3 package with the sole purpose to be to drive people to the middle, which was your former lowest package.

spk_0:   24:16
Yeah, that makes come

spk_1:   24:16
because, yeah, because you I mean, that's kind of what I have is my birth packages start at X, but you can't really get anything for that price. Like you get a slide show of images in no digital files. But the next package up is just a little bit more money, and you get so much more. So people like are They look at it and they go, Oh, yeah, I want the middle one. Just make it a no brainer. So you have that starter package there, literally. The only reason is there is to drive people to the middle package

spk_0:   24:48
That is so smart. And I definitely learned something as well what I did. Weddings. I always did three packages and I kid you not. Number two was the most selling package. So it goes right on with what you're saying. The other saying that I want to ask you is how do we know if our current pricing structure is in that no man's land? What are those signs?

spk_1:   25:13
Yeah, that's a great question. Um, I would do a little bit of market research and find out, and I'm not big on looking at what your competition is doing. In fact, I tell my students not to. But if it's for market research, in this instance, I would just klick around and see what your competitors are charging just to get an idea of, ah, high range and a low range and a mid range Um, so that you know, if you are in no man's land and I don't think that no man's land is a death sentence like, I think that you can still get hired there. But I think that you'll get hired more easily and were frequently if you're one of the top or one of the bottom.

spk_0:   25:55
Yeah, I I'm goingto have to agree with that as well, and I have done my own market research in my own business. I will be honest with you. I've only been giving to package options now, while the bigger one has definitely sold more than the smaller one. That's just because I'm super generous and it's just an awesome package. I actually think you're gonna go create a middle package. It's not. Make that the middle package with an option to move higher on Lee because I do find families that will do, like, add ons. Or they'll do like the Mohammad extended family, that kind of thing. Um and so it may make it more appealing that way. So that is so neat that I also got Thio take notes and learn some things, um, through love it me to Well, I want you to go ahead and, um, still free to elaborate if you want to on your course. But also, where can we connect with you online and learn more about what you have to offer?

spk_1:   26:56
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Thinks so. I am on instagram at underscore The BD and birth underscore the BDM birth has taken. I'm I'm on the hunt for it, um, on Facebook as the BDM birthright, a DEA Rayburn we also the Facebook group called Marketing for Birth Photographers. There's like 3500 birth photographers, then there right now, talking all about marketing. And then, if you want more info on the course, I actually have a free training. It's all about how I get fully booked by specializing in birth photography, and we talk a lot about something things we talked about today. As Faras attracts and repels, I go into a little bit more in that training and some other steps that I took, including my seventh step marketing system that I so used to this day to keep my calendar booked on that my students are also using, and that is a free training and attack. Get Earth photography clients dot com

spk_0:   27:55
and I highly recommend If you have not, you don't know Ho Tae Via is you haven't taken that training on how I suggest you do. It was very beneficial, definitely, especially if you're gonna be doing any, like birth and newborn photography, cause I know there's a lot of you that wants thio kind of niche down into that. She is your go to that highly recommend it and teii via Thank you so much for taking time out of your day and for giving us such good tips and an insight into your business.

spk_1:   28:25
Oh, absolutely. It was really fun That time went by super fast. Thanks for having me

spk_0:   28:29
here, So welcome.