Darty Hines – Episode 009 – A Photographer Podcast Interview
This week, we talk to Darty Hines, co-owner of SYNC, Senior & Youth National Conference (See Below for a Discount Code). Both Kia & Matt attended Darty’s classes back when they were first starting their businesses. Darty has been in the industry for 25 years. 15 years ago, he was known for doing cool sets with high school seniors. In more recent years, he’s known for social media marketing education.
What’s working right now for Darty, is listening to his clients. He says we’re quick to jump on a trend, without asking if that’s what our clients want. Darty uses Survey monkey to find one or two things to really make the experience better the next time.
Darty and his wife Michelle are fired up about the hope in the industry right now. Listen in to hear the best advice Darty ever got, including “The next person to speak, loses.” and “The last dollar spent is the most important one.” and how he implements this advice.
Darty also talks about not getting on FB first thing in the morning and bookmarking groups so you don’t get distracted by your timeline. Darty says to remember to post something uplifting and positive.
That is just a few of the tips from this interview. Listen in for all the knowledge that Darty handed out.
Transcription was done by Temi.com which means it’s an AI generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar and other errors, and is not a substitute for watching the video.
Darty: [00:01] This is Darty Heinz and you are listening to from nothing to profit.
Speaker 2: [00:05] Welcome to from nothing to profit photographers podcast with Matt and Kayak where each week they talk to photographers about what is working in their business now so you can swipe those ideas and grow your business faster. Welcome everybody. We are so excited today
Kia: [00:23] to be interviewing Darty Heinz and Heinz is the co owner of the senior portrait conference sync, which is. Oh Gosh, what is it? Seniors
Darty: [00:37] Senior and Youth national conference. Be original player. Okay.
Kia: [00:40] So sync. And it was originally senior and youth national conference and it is a actually right now my favorite conference to go to every year. Uh, I love photographing high school seniors and spending time with photographers that have been in it for awhile or are very, uh, are new, but they’re very committed to their photography business and Darty and his wife Michelle run that has a social and media marketing expertise with his multiple businesses and he lives in Pennsylvania and I know Darty from when he won. The senior photographers have senior photographer of the year nationally. Um, I don’t know how many years ago that was, but I was very impressed with him and actually I just thought of this, my first class that I ever attended for photographers to you were there and I wasn’t even a photographer yet at the time.
Matt: [01:34] Let me, let me tell my story.
Kia: [01:36] Okay, sorry. Sorry. Okay. Matt, you go.
Matt: [01:38] So the first class I ever attended and the industry was Darty and Coleen’s a three day jumpstart class before imaging like 11 years ago. So we had just gotten to the industry, we’re in there maybe like three months and using like our startup money to figure out what we’re doing. And we’re like well we need to go to imaging. And I was like, well we should do these econ classes so we can go there as long as possible. And so I signed up for three days with you guys and you were the, you were the first real, like you were the fundamental building block of our business because like you set us on a course and those three days to do what we’re doing now, which is really cool.
Darty: [02:15] Oh man, this is a great way to start off my week. Thanks to both of you guys. This is awesome. It’s funny because I was online. They have a big surprise. I was online, I was online on like about a week or so ago and somebody tagged me in a post. They were talking about education and somebody actually said the words that I changed their life forever and I was just like, you know, you don’t really know what kind of impact you have on people when you’re doing, when you’re speaking, when you’re running educational events and you’re doing presentations and things like that. Like you really, you know, you gotta really be careful what you say from a main states because you are really impacting people’s lives and they’re making changes in their businesses that really could impact their life forever. Good or bad.
Kia: [03:01] Yeah. That’s the truth. So I’m a Darty. What we want to know from you after we’ve better do up like that is, um, tell us from your vantage point, what is your of expertise or what are you known for?
Darty: [03:19] Well, I think, um, I think I’m known for two things. If we go back a few years, you know, I’ve been in this industry for about 25 years, so I’ve kind of seen it all. I’ve seen film to digital to iphones, you know, so kind of been around for a long time. So I think if we go back a few years and we go back maybe 15 years. Um, I think I was known for the guy that did all the really cool sets with the high school seniors. We built really elaborate scenes inside of a studio to, you know, do our, our high school senior photography on. So I think at that point I was known for that. And then I would say in more recent years I’ve kind of switched my focus when it comes to what we’re doing educationally. I spoke last year at imaging USA and I’ve done doing some state conventions recently and it’s been doing more social media marketing, which is, you know, when I taught just a few seconds ago about the girl who tagged me in a post on facebook. That’s exactly why she said she goes, I put in place some of the things that you talked about marketing that really changed my business. I think I prefer to be known that way because I read that because that’s really what I love. I love the, I love social media. I love marketing. I mean those are like two of my favorite things to kind of teach about. So I would say that’s currently where my expertise is, is social media marketing.
Kia: [04:35] I forgot you and I just taught a class on social media marketing together. Yeah, exactly. It was a quick, quick little one, but yeah.
Darty: [04:44] Yeah. Okay. So tell us right now kind of what you think is working now in our industry or even in your business with your sink conference and stuff like that. What you think is working now that people can implement in their business. Yeah, I think we’re going to talk a little bit more general because um, if you know me or know what I’m doing recently, I’m not really doing photography full time at this point. So I’ve kind of stepped back from that a little bit. I’m not saying that I’m not doing it ever again or I’m not doing it on occasion, I’m just, it’s just not my full time business right now. So I think for me as we do this podcast today, I want to talk a little bit more. It’s going to be more about small business with photography and mine obviously because like I’ve said, I’ve been doing it for 25 years.
Darty: [05:28] So kind of what’s working right now for us is really sounds kind of simple, but really just listening to our clients, you know, I think that for business owners, we were really quick to jump in on a trend without really checking in with our clients sometimes and asking them, is this a direction that you would like us to go? It’s not that you have to follow their, you, it’s not that you’re going to say, okay, well that client said no. So I’m not going to do that. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying we need to learn to listen to what they want. Um, I see this a lot where people are saying, you know, well, my clients don’t want prints and a lot of times one of the things I want to ask them is, did you ask your clients if they weren’t prints?
Darty: [06:16] You know, my client only wants digital. Does that, what did they tell you they only want digital or have you not educated them to understand what you can do for them as the expertise in your business? You know, a lot of times I think we forget that our clients have hired us because we’re the experts at something and so it’s our job to make sure that as the expert, we’re leading them in the direction that we want a, our clients to go and be. We’re leading them towards our first sales because the bottom line is we’re still trying to get sales from things. So a lot of times we just need to learn to listen a little bit more. Even with sync, you know, we do, we do surveys at the end of the, at the end of the show and all the attendees can give their opinions on things.
Darty: [07:03] And you know, and I can’t do anything that your bed was lumpy at the resort that I can’t do anything about, but I can do something about the fact that maybe the print competition, the shipping is really expensive and it costs a lot to do prints and things like that so I can make changes that the majority of people are asking for, you know, and that’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for golden nuggets from when you listened to your clients, you’re looking for golden nuggets that will help you create a better experience for them in the long run.
Darty: [07:36] No, that makes complete sense. And I think some of the best years of our best. Yeah, I guess years or quarters in our business is when we had a really good clients that gave us feedback. And so what that tells me is like, okay, if I got really good feedback and that made me a better photographer for, you know, from that point on, I should probably just seek out that advice because not everybody is the personality that’s just going to hand it to you. Correct? Correct. Now as survey, after you do your event and then you read through every response and then think through that or how do you get your feedback that you’re using? Yeah, I actually, I use survey monkey. You can even use that as a small business owner. Like I used the paid version because we get with the free version you can get just um, you can do 100 responses for free, like another word you can get.
Darty: [08:31] You can ask her questions and 100 people can reply to that survey and you can get that for free. If you get up more than 100 responses, then you have to go to a paid version. Um, I did a paid version because we always get more than 100 people that respond and I honestly literally read every single survey that comes in. So 400 surveys come in. I will read all 400 of them. I’m going to be completely honest. The majority of them are obviously they’re complimentary, but what happened at the event? But I’m really looking for that one or two things and those and those 400, if I can find two really good ideas to help make our experience, the clients experience better at sink, that’s what I’m looking for. I’m just looking for those one or two really good things. I go, Oh, you know what, I never thought about that. That is perfect. That’s what we should be doing, you know, and it happens is some, uh, definitely happens and people will see that when they come to the event or when they come to do business with us, Bill see that suggestion that they’ve made implemented. And there’s been times even from the stage I’ve said, you know, what, you see this change. This is because of the survey. We’ve done this change because people have requested that.
Matt: [09:41] That’s really smart. Okay. So real quick, we’re just, while we’re on the subject, so there’s, some of our listeners are not going to know exactly what sync is. I mean we introduced it but basically it’s a big conference. Not a giant conference, but I’ve really healthy sized conference. But. So it’s like, I’m trying to describe it. So in Sandestin, Florida, and it’s
Darty: [09:59] normally like February, March, right? Is when you guys shoot for. Yeah, we were always usually right around that last weekend of February. Sometimes depending on how the year falls, we’d go into that first weekend in March like this for 2019. That will be March one through four. Um, and yeah, it’s a conference. Um, we have classroom education, we do have some small group and some little hands on things that happen in the evenings. I have a really nice trade show. It’s really built to bring together professional portrait photographers who specialize in high school senior portraits. We do have some other programming, whether it’s on other topics or other industry related things like sports or children or teenagers, you know, but the focus of it as high school senior photography people come from all over United States, um, and it’s, you know, three and a half days and you’re in Destin, Florida and it’s really just a really strong community of creative entrepreneurs who have come together that really want to share and help elevate and lift in India the industry. Yet
Matt: [10:56] I started going maybe like three, four years ago. Three, yeah, three or four years ago. And at first I was, I got there and I was like kind of intimidated for the first opening night, like get together thing which was, you know, you guys do a really good job with. And I was like, wow man, everybody knows everybody. And I was like, you know, this is really interesting in like within the next day I felt so included. And then now I totally feel like part of the family, you know, like in the facebook group and stuff like that. Like it’s so cool the community that you’ve built, like conferences or cool and education is cool, but the community that you have built is probably one of the best things we have in our industry. Thanks. Appreciate that.
Kia: [11:31] Yeah, and I feel like one of the things that when I’m there it’s like, like you said, it’s a pretty safe place. And so I communicate with. I feel like I just get a lot like emotionally, mentally for myself and so, you know, just being somewhere warm somewhere peaceful that time of year I feel like I really always come away with some great new things that I’m going to be doing.
Darty: [11:54] Yeah, absolutely. Uh, so Darty. What is one thing that you are most fired up about in the photography industry today? Well, you know, I was talking to Michelle about this the other day. We were out running around and I said, you know, I’m doing a podcast coming up. And she’s like, yeah. She goes, hi, are you ready? I said, I am, but I said that I’m kind of stumped on. One of the questions is what are you fired up about the industry? And she right away said, I think that’s easy. I think what I’m fired up about right now is that the industry has a lot of hopes and when I started thinking about that, I was like, you know what, you are right. You know, that’s the thing a husband should say all the time, right? I say it. And so I, you know, I thought about that a little bit longer and I was like, you know what that is, right?
Darty: [12:40] I mean, it is a lot of hope. I think there’s so much doom and gloom and especially when you get into facebook and you get on those facebook groups and there’s a lot of doom and gloom about the industry and people complaining that the business isn’t what it used to be on etc. Etc. And thEy know what you’re right. It’s not the plane and honest truth is that the industry is not what it used to be. It’s completely different. Um, I think that, um, I think it was last. YeAh. Last year, Jason Williams was speaking and he actually put that up on a screen. He said the industry is not dead, the industry is just different and it’s such a simple but kind of a profound statement because he’s right, you know, you’ve got to start thinking a little bit different. And what I am seeing, I mean, what bring me back to my thing that I’m fired up about is hope I’m, I’m seeing that especially in our community a little bit.
Darty: [13:31] I don’t. The cool thing, I don’t want it to be a sink, you know, advertisement because that’s definitely not what it is. But the cool thing about it is at stake, I feel like there’s not that doom and gloom. I feel like it’s an uplifting thing and I feel like that people do have hope. I mean even I was talking to david drum from h and h color lab and he was kinda saying the same thing a couple years ago. He was like, you know, one of the things I really enjoy about being here is that people, there’s not that doom and gloom. There is the people that are actually kind of uplifting each other and coming up with new ideas, you know? And that’s the thing too, you know, right now if you want to survive, and especially in the high school portrait industry, if you want to survive and the high school portrait in the industry, you’ve got to be a disruptive, right?
Darty: [14:14] Disruptive, right now you’ve got to do something different. You know, when I think about my own social media habits and I scroll down through instagram, you know, I like same picture, same picture, same picture, same picture. It’s like I just feel like it’s the same stuff over and over and every once in awhile you grabbed, you see something completely different and you stop and you take notice of that. And I think for me when I stop, it’s usually because it’s not the same girl laying in a fall leaves with natural light. It’s something, not that there’s nothing wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s different. You know what I’m saying is different. It’s because somebody has done something that I hadn’t seen. And that’s what makes me stop. And I do think that clients are looking for that right now. Clients are looking for the high school. you know, when we talk about high school seniors, they’re definitely looking for something that their friends did not get. I mean, yeah, they’re going to go to a photographer because their friends probably went and I saw the, you know, they talked about the experience they had, but when they come to that photographer they’re still looking for a unique image that. And that’s jUst for them. It’s something that’s completely different just for them
Matt: [15:23] when I think that’s always been true in some aspects because that’s one reason I think you, you when you were at callIng and company that you built sets every year that were different, you know, is because you knew every year had to be different. It had to be unique and you guys had a lot of business so those sides got used a lot. But I think you were, you tapped it. And the other thing that, that you taught me early in my career that I’ll never forget as every year with your marketing, you dId a different theme. One year you had like destination or stuff like that. And I just think that different. This is so important, but even more so now because we’re so we’re consuming so much that like things can go boar and even faster in our mind.
Darty: [16:00] Oh Yeah, absolutely. And I stiLl do that. I mean even with the, we have themes for st still. I mean it’s like every year there’s kind of a consistent over overview of like the theme for this year is what makes you uniquely you and the opening nights going to talk about that and then even some of the speakers are going to talk about that in their presentation and you know, some of the things that makes them unique. That’s kind of. I do believe that I believe that when you look at large companies, a lot of times they’ll do, it’s usually seasonal, but they’ll do kind of a consistent theme in our marketing throughout like a season. And so I kind of always have followed outside of industry people when it comes to my marketing. So you know, target’s a good example because they’re so amazing at what they do.
Darty: [16:42] When you look at target, you can see them kind of running maybe some sort of theme or some sort of campaign for a short period of time and all their commercials will kind of have like a similar kind of a feel and their ads. I’ll have a similar kind of feel and we took that philosophy and we did the same thing with marketing campaigns with high school seniors trying to get the business into the studio is that we would run a campaign that had a similar theme throughout multiple months and that was back in when we were doing heavy direct mail, but even now if I was doing that now I would. My facebook cover picture would be changed. My instagram would look different, like you can still do a theme for your high school seniors or a theme for your marketing every year and you’re Just changing it up a little bit.
Darty: [17:26] Maybe you’re not doing direct mail, but you can still do it on your pricing catalogs. You can still do it in your social media. There’s other Ways of doing that. I know you went to photography school, so was there anything that was holding you back from being a professional photographer? Not really. I mean quite honestly I went from delivering pizza and colleagues to work on as a full time photographer. I had a really great back ground. I mean my very first job was with a photographer in new philadelphia, Ohio and taught like traditional lighting with the old masters background and so I kinda had a really good foundation even from going to school in dayton, Ohio at Ohio state of photography had a great foundation. So I really went into it with not really anything holding me back because I really became a professional photographer like right away.
Darty: [18:13] Now if we switch that question just a little bit, sorry. And you said you know, what would hold you back? When I decided to go full time with sync, I can answer that question and that was simply just fear. I think you understand this idea because you know, event business is very, very risky. You know, I think a lot of people go, oh, I want to start a conference or a workshop or something like that. But guess wHat, it’s a risky business. You’ve got to have people there, there’s contracts you’re signing. I mean, it’s not, it’s not an easy thing to do and you know, when you think, you know, hey, I’m going to lose this a steady every week paycheck at a steady job to do something with that’s very, very high risk. Fear will take a big part of that, uh, you know, put in, really start taking a chunk of your confidence for sure.
Darty: [19:04] So, you know, it was not an easy decision, but it’s definitely something that, you know, fear was probably holding me back at that time. So I know you mentioned the event business. We had a photography business and we would have to sign a contract for 50,000 or $100,000 at the beginning of the year. The beginning of the next year is when we would do the event and hopefully make that money back. So it’s very different than a photography business. And how did you overcome that? Fear, oh, that’s a great question and that not prepared for that question, but I couldn’t answer that. I mean I think overcoming it, a lot of it was just kind of praying a lot. There’s that and there’s also the fact that planning out in advance what you’re going to do. I mean, you know, my business is no different than any photography studio.
Darty: [20:03] Me, I still have to have a marketing plan in place. You know, we’ve got a huge calendar on our wall that we have systems in place and processes in place and marketing ideas in place. So we know that when it hits black friday then you know that’s coming up, that we have these sales going on and when we get to December 1st I need to know that I have this many people booked for the event. It’s no different than you need to have that many sessions to pay the bills to make sure that you’re going to have enough money to eat, you know, so you know, it’s a really. A lot of it’s just planning and making sure that you know what you’ve got and set in place is actually going to pay the bills that you have coming in. So you beat the fear with planning or prayer planning and consistently your plan and processes.
Darty: [20:50] Processes. Very good. We could have done three p’s are for sure. For sure. Um, awesome. So tell me the best advice that you’ve ever received. Rd. Oh boy. This is another tough one. Okay. I got to. I’m going to do the first one is photography related and that was from Rachel Martin and she said years ago she said the next person who speaks loses. And I’ve always loved that statement and because when you just think about yourself when you’re doing a sales appointment and you say something like, my wall portrait is $450, you know, my wall is $450. And then she always said, you just shut up at that point, like you don’t talk again because the next person who talks is going to lose. Because if you’re the next person that talks probably what’s going to come out of your mouth, because you’re probably not confident enough in sales to do it correctly, is you’re probably going to start making excuses of why you’re praying as far everybody dollars.
Darty: [21:46] So you’re going to start kind of degrading really the value of what your artwork is by starting to make excuses to the client, which gives them that door to stick their foot in that door and start asking for discounts or start to second guess themselves or start to decide, oh, I don’t want that size. I want this size. You know. So I think that piece of advice I still use that, you know, especially ca, you know, kiadus talked about contracts a little bit even with contracts. I mean sometimes you say, I can’t afford that, but I can’t afford this and I just shut up and wait, you know, because you know, the next person who talks loses, you know, that’s kind of always stuck into my head.
Darty: [22:24] And then you had another piece of advice as well. Yes. I love this one. Um, I love the tv show, the profit, I don’t know if you guys watched that, but it’s amazing. It’s marcus limonus and he was talking to a small business and the thing that he said that I just loved it was the last dollar spent is the most important one and I just love that statement because what it means is this, it means that sometimes we go, you know what, I can start offering this frame right here, but there’s another, there’s a frame that’s a little bit nicer that I could offer my clients, but you know, it’s like $2 more. But he talks about how you can take that little bit of money that you spend to upgrade a product and you can sometimes double or triple what you’re going to get for it, you know.
Darty: [23:10] So I think that a lot of times we are afraid to spend that tiny little bit when we can actually turn that little bit of an investment that we made and we can actually turn that around and really kind of charge a lot more or get more money in the bottom line. Yeah, that’s a philosophy that I use sync all the time, like even a good example. I’m right now. We do these really like different creative spaces, the that the event where we do them for a reason, we do them, so it gets people kind of thinking creatively and it just something that’s a little bit different at the show. It really makes you kind of. Sometimes they make you think or sometimes they’re interactive, whatever, and so we’re creating one right now that quite honestly it’s probably going to cost me about $800 by the time it’s all done.
Darty: [23:50] I could have done it with a banner or I could have done something similar with a fabric background. I probably could’ve got printed by a sponsor, but I’m spending those extra dollars because I want to create something that’s unique and extraordinary that helps elevate the experience when people are in our, at our, at our event. So I would use that same philosophy in my business. When you’re talking about packaging. Oh yeah, sure. I could stick it into a white envelope with a plastic window or I could spend a little bit more and I could put it in some nice packaging and be able to charge more for the product and in the long run and make more money. That’s interesting. When you said the quote, the last dollar you spent as the most important. I was thinking I can justify why starbucks is so important.
Darty: [24:51] You can get that return on your investment, correct? Yeah, exactly. StArbucks doesn’t count. I’m guessing. So what is one of your personal habits that you think contributes to your success right now? I feel like personal habits for me right now, I’m trying my best to not get on facebook right away in the morning because it’s very, very distracting place as we all know now. A lot of my business is on facebook, on social media, so I do have to be there, but a couple of thIngs I’ve done to kind of get away from the distractions, you know, being distracted on facebook. One thing is on my browser window, I have um, tabs or bookmarks for my groups, so I don’t go to the timeline because when you go to facebook’s main page, when you go to the main page you get very distracted because all of a sudden you see something that somebody posts and you’re like, oh, that’s really cool, and then it links you to something else that leads you to something else.
Darty: [25:53] And by you know, two hours later you haven’t done anything you were supposed to be doing. So I’ve definitely have made bookmarks for all the places I need to be. So I don’t get distracted by the timeline. It’s very rare that I’m on a timeline. If I’m on a timeline it’s probably because now it’s like [7:30] in the evening and I’m kind of chilling for the night and you know, and there’s, my work is done. I also use scheduling a lot. So facebook has a built in scheduler that I use all the time. You know, a lot of times people might go, man, [inaudible] on facebook all the time posting. Well no he’s not. He’s used to scheduler to do that for hIm so he can get stuff done, so I used that and I just recently started looking into and started using instagram and using a company called later l a t e r and it’s for your instagram scheduling and I’m really liking it.
Darty: [26:37] I mean I’m right now just doing the free version because I’m trying it out, but I’m liking that as well because technically we have three different companies and with our three different companies it’s, they’re all kind of instagram is a big place for them and it’s taking a lot of my time to do instagram so now I’m kind of carving out some time during the week to kind of post all those things at one time using later and using facebook scheduler to kind of go do that work for me and doing my best to do my devotions. But prior to gettIng on any kind of social media in the mornings, definitely trying to do that.
Kia: [27:12] That’s great. And so when you’re on social media then you’re doing like you’re posting and then are you also responding to posts too?
Darty: [27:21] I am. I have a bad habit of when I see a tag or I see a notification come in that has been tagged on something, I feel like I have to go do it right that second. Well, no you don’t. So I’m trying know that is something I’m definitely working on is not going in and answering that question or answering that statement, you know, that right away if it’s a business question, you know, if it comes through st rocks on my business page and it’s, you know, someone sent a message and I was a question about the event or how do I register or something like that. Then yeah, I’m going to answer that pretty quickly pretty quickly. But if it’s somebody that’s posted a meme and you know, they’re trying to just get some things happening on facebook, I’m going to let that set. Um, I don’t think you need to go do that. Take care of that right away. Um, you know, let those fun things happen and worried more about the business. Get off social media. Social media is killer.
Darty: [28:12] So you, so you mentioned later, do you have another internet resource that you would recommend to people or is that the main one that you’re really enjoying right now? Enjoying right now? and let me tell you, I’ll say this, it’s not that I’m trying to hide. I don’t have tons of secrets. I really don’t, but just some things you don’t need to share everybody. So there might be some other internet resources that we’re using, but I’ll say this, I look outside my industry for ideas and for inspiration a lot and I’ve kind of went with sync. We’ve kInd of really been recently just kind of trying to build a community and we’ve been doing some different things. And whaT I’ve been looking at recently is how do like large multi-campus churches, how are they running their social media and how are they communicating with their people that they want to get into church.
Darty: [29:01] Um, and I’ve been kind of following that and I’ve snuck my way of, snuck my way into some church facebook groups that are like, for the people that do, excuse me, do they do social media for churches or do staging for churches because a lot of churches now are doing elaborate stages or changing them every six weeks. And that kind of stuff interests me. So I’m kind of sneaking my way into some facebook groups that maybe it’s not what I do as a living, but I still want to kind of pay attention to what some other people were doing to kind of apply that towards my business. And so I think that, I guess what I’m saying is that look outside the industry sometimes because we get, you go into those facebook groups for photography and man, it can be really depressing really quick because it’s a lot of, a lot of complaining and, you know, and I’m, I am doing my best to avoid those kinds of things.
Darty: [29:51] Um, and I’m trying to put my resources in other areas and I’m trying to do my best just to keep a positive outlook on everything that I’m doing right now and try not to let all the doom and gloom of either the industry or just the world in general. I mean it’s kind of a nasty place out there right now and you know, and you can get sucked into that so quickly and when you’re sucked into that you’re not working in your business and you’re not feeding your family or not supporting your family. So I’m trying not to do that one. I think the other thing that you’re doing a good job of too is like you are the positive voice for the industry as well. So not only are you trying to be positive just for your own wellbeing, but it’s really nice and refreshing to have you and michelle, you know, with your positive stuff on the internet too because it is, it is a differentiator for yourself for sure. Well I appreciate that.
Kia: [30:39] Now Darty since my husband, andy’s a pastor, maybe he can sneak in on those facebook can. Um, he can be your legitimate
Darty: [30:51] mean. We do volunteer, do volunteer at our church, so we do volunteer there, so I do have some, some reason to be in there and just recently actually we jumped on the surf team to actually help change out the stages at church because I want to, I did it for two reasons. One because I want to serve at church obviously, and b, I wanted to do it for it because I want to see how they’re using led lights and what they’re doing. You decorate the stages for saint because we do such an elaborate stages. Think I want to kind of step it up a notch. Yeah, that’s cool. That’s really cool.
Kia: [31:22] So do you, are you a Big reader?
Darty: [31:25] Occasionally I go through phases on reading. So I do have two books. I’d recommend him because I, you know, I’m still stuck on that social media thing, but social media. So there’s a book by greg, chris shaw who’s a, I’m the lead pastor at life church in Oklahoma. He’s amazing. He also does an uh, an if you’re into leadership, he doesn’t. Incredible leadership pod pass as well, which I definitely love, but he has a book, it’s not brand new, it’s a little bit, oh, probably about a year or two old, it’s called hashtag struggles and it’s basically about if you are somebody that struggles with always getting on the internet and get no social media and comparing yourself to others, um, you know, it’s kind of a book about how to not do that, how to not compare yourself. Um, It is faith based, just the warning for those of you who are reading it and you know, the tagline is following jesus and a self centered world.
Darty: [32:15] Um, and I think it’s pretty, it’s an interesting read. It’s a very easy read, but it talks about, you know, instead of calling to social media, maybe you’re calling someplace else and it also talks about how to not compare yourself. And then on the marketing end of things, the marketing book that I read probably two years ago or maybe a year ago, I forget, it’s called content inc. And if you’re into trying to build a following through using email or other kind of funnel directions as far as marketing goes, I think it’s a pretty good read. I will say this is not an easy read, but there’s a lot of good information and it’s not like you’re going to read it in like a day. I mean this is probably a week or two book to really dive into it. And It’s called content inc and it’s by. I’m going to ruin his last name, but it’s by joe pulizzi. It’s p u l I, z z. I, but a good book if you’re into like trying to get emails. I bet matt matt, have you read that? I have not read it. You should read the dude that’s right up your alley, buddy. You need to go. It’s on my list. It just doesn’t. It’s never floated to the top yet. So I’m actually the person that taught me to read that was um, uh, rudy martin. Okay. So anything that martin is telling me to do, I’m like, yes. Okay. I will do that. Right.
Kia: [33:33] That’s funny. You know, it’s interesting about that. Hashtag struggle, I was sitting here a couple, I don’t know, maybe a month ago and I was talking to a photographer friend and they said, how do you do it? Like how do you not just look at what everyone else is doing and see how many likes and whatever everyone else, what’s happening and how do you not compare yourself to them, lIke, do you do that or how do you not and right then I was listening on spotify to the song is a christian song and it’s, it says I am who you say I am and it’s talking about how, you know, not having your worth in what other people say you are, but in who god says you are. And so I, I wonder if that’s part of what that book is saying. But I think people struggle with that a lot and I think especially with you Darty, you have this love of social media but then you can go too far, you know. So with, with social media you have to kind of keep it in balance there.
Darty: [34:30] Yes, absolutely. And then one of my other favorite authors is john a coffee spoke at st last year and one of the, I don’t know, I’ve read all his books, I don’t remember which one it was in, but one of his books he says that I’m comparing blocks growth and I think a lot of times when you jump on social media and you really, you know, like you said, you’re like, oh well how come that guy got so many likes but mine didn’t. And when you start comparing your life, whether it’s your life or whether it’s your social media life, whatever, if you start comparing that to others, it’s going to block your growth growth personally and in your business and with your family, you know, so of going back to what I said earlier, just make bookmarks and just in just look at the things that you only want to look at.
Darty: [35:11] LIke if you have a business page on social media, on facebook, then just do a bookmark just for your business page. So you’re not looking at everything else, you know. And It’s hard. I mean we’re human, you know. And so it’s hard not to compare yourself to others, but you know, when you start doing that it really starts to Discourage you and you know, and you don’t know somebody that gets 800 likes and you get 20 likes will, that person was 800 lights, might have a, a huge high school that they went to and all of those people are high school people. They may not be clients, you know. So it’s a balance. You just gotta to just, it’s harD not to do, but you really just got to work on not comparing yourself to others.
Kia: [35:48] Yeah. And speaking of likes, one of the girls who works for me, we always talk about social media a lot and she’ll go, well they didn’t like it because they were jealous over, like they intentionally don’t like things sometimes and people will do that, you know, it might be a great post and people might be responding to it internally, but they might not be liking it for different reasons.
Darty: [36:09] Right. And it’s also the, uh, we were having lunch with some photographer last week and we were talking about kind of social media. And stuff, when I said it’s also the time of day, I mean it could be, you know, when you post something, you know, people get, they asked me, they asked me questions like that are like well how come my business page didn’t get likes for this particular kind of posts? So it could simply be the time of day, you know, so you know, you just never know where it could be something else. You know, maybe it’s even, it was a bright sunny day that day and everybody was outside so they didn’t really see the posts. I mean, all you got to take all that stuff into consideration when it comes to social media marketing. I mean it, it really is such a weird kind of a platform to use because it’s really hard to gage your results because there are so many factors that go into what people see and what they don’t see, why they like it. I don’t like it, you know, it, it’s, you know, it could be their mood, like it’d be the, you know, like we said it’s so. There’s so many different factors into what happens with social media that it’s hard to really gauge, you know, what the, what the results were.
Kia: [37:12] Yeah. So true. So like what would be your parting wisdom for people specifically on the subject of social media
Darty: [37:23] when it comes to social media? My parting guidance is a, before you post this, is this an impromptu question? So I’ve got to think about this for a second. Before you post, think about what you’re posting and is it uplifting and positive? That’s my suggestion right now and that’s kind of because of the world we’re living in, kind of. But it shouldn’t be something you do all the time. Yeah, I would. I’d do that often. I sit there and here’s what I do this often I will type out something and then I’ll delete it because it’s, you know, sometimes well and sometimes you just, okay, do you ever get an email in and some from a client and you’re so ticked off about what they say. Here’s my suggestion. Open up a word document, type out your response in that. Let it sit for 24 hours, come back and read it the next day and make sure you want to send that because a lot of times where we react in anger, you know, and I, and we try and we don’t want to do that.
Darty: [38:22] We want to react in something other than anger, you know? And so sometimes on facebook I’ll see something, it’s a question somebody asked or it’s a statement and I’ll start typing out something and then I’ll stop and I’ll look at it and I go, you know, that’s not really helpful. It’s not uplifting anything. It’s really not going to make a difference quite honestly. And so I just delete it. And then the other thing I’m doing right now, and I suggest thIs to everybody, those three dots that are on the side of people’s posts, there’s three little dots. I use them every single day because it does two things. Number one, it can unfollow somebody. It doesn’t mean you’re friending them. You don’t want to unfriend them because that’s just gonna cause issues down the road. Unless it’s really, really bad, then you can, but you can unfollow somebody, they’ll never know.
Darty: [39:04] You won’t see them in your news newsfeed. So there’s that. The second thing it does is that if you hit the three dots, you can say hi the ad or hide this kind of posts so it gives you options. I have literally cleaned out my social media newsfeed where I pretty much see what I want these days because I have actually went into those three dots and I’ve either unfollow people that are not benefiting my life and not really uplifting me and in a positive way that I want to be uplifted in and I’ve hit almost all advertisements and all kinds of posts from that they’ve shared from this whatever content that I don’t really want to see. So do those things post with love me. I’ve said that before and if you’ve read any, some my stuff I say that often posts with love.
Kia: [39:49] Okay. Darty. So you’ve given us your parting piece of guidance on social media, which that’s fantastic too because I have a hard time on facebook. I just normally just get off because I’m like, ah, I can’t. I don’t want to look at all this stuff. So those three dots, that’s really good and posting with love, but just in regular life or in photography in general. What’s your bit of advice that you would want to give everyone?
Darty: [40:12] Right. Listen, here’s the deal we created. People were just known to jump into things without a plan and I think that one of the things, the backup really quick, really fast, I’ll do this fast, wasn’t aware probably running long, but about five years ago we made the decision that we’re going to go full time. IT’s a sync about three years after that, so my wife has been also fulltime in the sink for last two years, so we don’t have that steady paycheck, which we’ve kind of talked about earlier. We don’t have a steady paycheck and so we’re doing st full time now as creatives. A lot of times we jump into things without a plan and one of the things I’ve learned by working with my wife now full time is that she has taught me as a creative mind to slow down and relate to start making decisions about what we do for our business.
Darty: [41:05] Michelle is a planner. Michelle is a process person. Michelle’s the one that does like if you registered for sync and you’ve got to sign off on all those little click buttons because you know there’s no refunds, et cetera, et cetera, so all that. All those kinds of things. She does those things now as a creative person, that kind of drives me nuts sometimes, but when I, when there’s an issue or there’s a problem down the road, we have a policy that to fall back on and I appreciate the fact that now have that. So I think as creative entrepreneurs, we’ve got to really realize that we’re quick to jump into something without having a plan knowing. I’ll give you a really good example of this and then we can wrap it up. We had an idea for our second event seeing sports. We had that idea way back in 2013.
Darty: [41:52] We did not start that conference until 2016 because in 2013 for us as business owners, that timing was just not right along with the fact that we wanted to plan this out and have a process in place that when the event did happen that it went without a hitch and it was something that people were going to experience and enjoy and they’re gonna tell their friends and they’re going to try to get other volume sports photographers to come to that event as well, so it took three years of planning to make sure that that was going to run in the successful way that we wanted to run. So as creatives who owned businesses, we’ve got to learn how to slow down and we had to learn to play him for a success.
Darty: [42:36] That’s really, really, really good advice. Yeah, I didn’t. I didn’t realize that things sports was in the works for so long because it just felt so natural, but that makes sense. You made a plan and made it feel natural and that’s really good. I liked that a lot. All right. well yeah, let’s definitely wrap up there because I think there’s many, many nuggets from this interview for sure. So thanks so much for being on the show today. I mean, it obviously means a lot to chi and you were at the top of the list of people we want it on the show and um, I just want to say thank you for everything you’ve done for the industry and you’ve done for allison and I don’t know if you’ll ever realize how big of a part of our lives you are and for that, thank you so much for everything you do.
Darty: [43:17] Well, thank you guys. Thank you both. You know, you guys as well. You know, the will compliment each other here at the end because, you know, even his work has always been inspiring to me. I love the photography. Uh, you know, we talked a little bit about, you know, just kind of standing out in this crowd and I believe kaia your work. Does that been when you’re scrolling through social media? I know thAt it’s a kia binder, amh, I mean, that’s, that’s a given. And then matt knew I’ve learned so much from you as far as far as social media and email blasts and things like all those kinds of things that you teach as well. I’ve definitely have used some of that into our business as well, so I appreciate both of you guys and what you guys are doing is equally back, back and forth. Love is back and forth. Our guys will check out the resources that we’ll put in the show notes for Darty. Definitely check out sink. Um, I’ll be there this year doing some round table discussions and cause they’re quite a bit. Um, I know she was there last year for sure. So I’ll check it out. It’s totally worth it. Going to Florida in february, march is the best time to go and thanks everybody and we’ll see you next week.
Speaker 2: [44:19] Thank you for listening to from nothing to profit photographers podcast with matt and kaiya. Be sure to subscribe for more business strategy and ideas to help you create a profitable and successful business you’ve always wanted to see you on the next episode of from nothing to profit.