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Have you been wondering if you should add associate shooters to your team?! It's something I've navigated through for the past year and a half so I'm thrilled to be talking about it today! I do have a free posing class that focuses on families. It's called "Keys to Effective Family Posing". I've had tremendous feedback from those that have taken already. My heart is full hearing back from you all, so be sure to jump in this free class and learn helpful tools for all things posing! Now, are we ready to dive into the big question - Should you add associate shooters?!
Most of the time an associate photographer is a contract photographer that works for you. So they essentially photograph sessions for you. Once the session is finished they give you all the raw images for you to edit, deliver, etc. You handle all the marketing, the booking and the client communication. One of my favorite perks is that you multiply yourself in a way. You can be in two places at once and get more done! I got to a place where I was fully booked but had more inquiries. Having associate photographers allows me to serve more people and in more places!
Having a team allows you to continue taking on clients, without using up all your time. You're able to continue bringing in revenue without forfeiting family time or every weekend, etc. Maybe you want to pivot. This may be a season where you want to shift your focus. You might want to adjust your full time job. I've had students that love being photographers, but pivot into becoming social media managers or full time editors. I personally made a transition into education. Adding an associate team allowed me to put some major focus on creating education without worrying about enduring a financial hit.
Having an associate team allows you to have multiple price points. I know I shoot in a luxury price point. So for someone to want to book with me, but maybe it's not in their budget my associate team is a great solution! Clients that want to book with you don't have to be turned away due to price. Now you can suggest one of your associates because you're still handling the edit and delivery. Clients still get to work with you, but you don't have to limit yourself to one market!
When I launched my associate team they had zero client base. So, we started them off with Facebook ads and grew to six figures last year! It was incredible and entirely built on Facebook ads. Now if using Facebook ads scare you, don't shy away! You just need a little encouragement and maybe educating on this topic. I have a FB Ad Mini Course that walks you through using Facebook ads start to finish! The proof that it works is in my associate team. The marketing gets done for you and it truly is a lead generating team!
Let me just preface: you don't have to start with multiple associates! You can start with just one and grow from there. One sign you may be ready is that you've solidified your style. Your editing and shooting are consistent. It's hard for associates to match your style when it's not clear. And for marketing purposes alone you want to showcase consistency to your business. Now, I will note we are reminding our associates often to shoot in my style (light and airy). An edit can only go so far, so the photographer has to do their part as well! Another sign is if you're fully booked. This varies from one to another, but the goal is not to turn people away! If you aren't fully booked most likely your associate team won't be either.
Many have asked if I have a course for setting up a successful associate team and currently I do not. I do however, do one on one mentoring to talk about the back end or communication, etc. I help you set up marketing and logistics of where to find associates. If that interests you just send my team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about a one on one call with me! I'd love to help you get started and answer questions. I also suggest listening to Episode 45 of my podcast. This is where I fist started talking about associates and should you add associate shooters to your team.
What is an Associate Photographer (3:06)
Scale Back Without a Financial Hit (4:24)
New Market - New Price Point (5:40)
Facebook Ad Leads! (6:59)
Signs You're Ready (8:44)
One on One Mentoring (14:48)