Here are a three points about money I’ve learned the hard way, in no particular order:
- ALWAYS charge a session fee. And always charge up front when making the session reservation. This means the clients are serious and aren’t going to take up half a day on your calendar and leave you hanging. Don’t just take a deposit. Take the whole thing. I’ve had plenty of deposit-leavers leave me hanging, but no session-payers have let me down yet. Taking the money upon reservation (I either send them a self-addressed envelope or shoot them a PayPal invoice) falls under the category of ’spent money is forgotten money’. So a week later when it’s time to buy photo products, they don’t feel like their bank account just took a hit and they’re free to spend on photos. And they WILL spend because they’ve already made a financial investment. Not to mention an emotional and time investment during the session.
- ALWAYS make sure that you make it clear that the deposit/prepaid fee is non-refundable. They can sign a contract (a little too formal for me) or acknowledge receipt of your confirmation email by saying that they understand the fee is non-refundable.
- When you put a client gallery up for preview, give it an expiry date. I still have clients from a year ago who haven’t ordered. Put the gallery up for 30 days and for goodness sake, WATERMARK those suckers allover the place. It’s ok to ruin the preview with a watermark and make it clear that swiping the preview is stealing.
That’s right, I’m going to Pittsburgh. I still haven’t received confirmation that I’ll be speaking, but my sponsored travel arrangements are complete.
I’m ecstatic to be going since this is my first out of state trip that is purely focused on my online and speaking business.
In my excitement, I did something that I probably should not have done. I offered to give 2 presentations at the event. When I looked at the schedule, I saw 2 areas that I felt needed someone to talk about them so I offered to speak about one or the other, at the discretion of the organizers. I feel that I should’ve just offered 1 topic instead of hedging my bets like that.
That was a silly rookie mistake and I shall not repeat.
I have one presentation that is 80% ready, and another that is 50% ready. I just need to receive confirmation of which speech I’ve been accepted to present so I can finish up the appropriate one.
Yes, I will have pictures and possibly even a recording of my speech on here.