Through the appropriate marketing, sales, and pricing strategies Molly Marie Keyser grew her boudoir photography business from .81 cents to 6 figures a year. In addition to being a photographer, Molly helps other photographers grow their boudoir businesses by being an open book with her experiences through her education website, Boudie Shorts, her Boudoir Certified and Boudoir Empire programs.
Visit the show notes page to answer Molly's question from this episode.
What we discuss:
- 5 Key Components to a Great Boudoir Website
- Clear CTA for more info
- Your story to build your Know, Like & Trust
- Your Certifications & Awards
- Video & Screen Shot Testimonials
- Your Portfolio
Where to find Molly:
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.
Scott: Welcome to episode 78. My name is Scott Wyden Kivowitz and I'm joined by my guest, Molly Marie Keyser of booty shorts. Uh, now as a reminder, at the end of the show, Molly will have an opportunity to ask you a question and you'll be able to answer that question on the episodes page, the show notes page, or on the youtube video. So, uh, my guest, Molly, I've known her for many years, uh, in various ways. And, uh, just a little bit about, about Molly through a appropriate marketing sales and pricing strategies. Molly grew her boudoir photography business from 81 cents to multiple six figures. Molly helps other photographers grow their photography business by adding on boudoir photography to their services to earn more, book more, and empower the women in their communities. So I am very delighted to finally after 77 episodes to finally have Molly on the show, uh, to, uh, inspire you and educate you about boudoir photography. So, welcome Molly.
Molly: Yay. Thank you, Scott. Glad to be here.
Scott: You know, it's funny, you know, uh, for so long you were just Molly Marie
Speaker 3: then it changed. You know, isn't that funny how life works
Molly: can use your last name, a mystery. So here it is.
Speaker 3: Yeah. It's like out of nowhere.
Molly: This is my, my last name.
Speaker 3: Yay. So it's, you know, it's, it's, it's funny how it's, it's so common for photographers to, to not use their last name. Like I think it's more common than what people think. Um, you're like, I don't know. I, my, my website, my personal website is just Scott Wyden when my full name is Scott Wyden Kivowitz. So, you know, it happens.
Molly: I think really it started because of my business name is Molly Murrey photography. I just tell people just always called me Molly Murrey and people even thought Marie was my last name.
Speaker 3: Right.
Molly: But I'm all grown up now and I have a real life.
Speaker 3: Oh boy. So, um, you've got a lot that has happened,
Scott: been over the past year, maybe even more. So tell us about what's going on in your, in your world these days.
Molly: Oh Man. So I really stopped, I'm 100% into my educator hat and I've been able in just the last year to help over 250 photographers go full time with food, water photography, which is so awesome cause our mission, uh, at booty shorts is to help more of photographers become profitable internal book, more of adware clients and internal empower more women around the world. So that is what me and my team have been really busy doing is helping our students and it's just been such a joy to see their amazing results and see their businesses grow and the women everywhere experiencing good wear. Shoot.
Scott: And you, you launch something that I'm seeing more educators do. Like, uh, Chris Scott just launched a similar thing, a sort of a certification process, um, through your education platform. And I think that is so smart. Um, and uh, I'm curious how many, um, how many people have you certified and how many people are on track to be certified? Like, you know, by the end of 2019, let's say.
Molly: Yes. So we've had 250. We have currently 250 students in the program. And so far we have certified right around a hundred students. Um, our goal is obviously to certify 100% of those students. However, our process is pretty rigorous. Um, they have to go through an eight-week program. They have to meet certain guidelines, they have to pass a test at the end. Um, and, and the test is not simply just, you know, oh, what, what is, you know, your certain settings or something like that. It's like you have to have so many clients. You have to bring in so much money. You have to really prove to us that you know what you're doing and that you really listened to the program. And, uh, the reason that we created the certification was, you know, myself being a boudoir photographer, I noticed that a lot of clients were having a hard time choosing their photographers.
Molly: They really have trust issues with like, okay, is this good war photographer really going to be professional? Do they really know what they're doing? Because it's a really sensitive topic. Um, you know, people are getting down to their skivvies and the front of complete strangers. So I really wanted there to be some kind of defining factor that would be able to show potential clients, you know, this is not just a photographer, you know, this is someone who has been certified to do good work professionally. And I myself get a lot of inquiries for big war sessions and my focus now is 100% on education. So I send all those inquiries to my students who are certified and I need to be able to say, look, I know this person's going to give you a good experience. Um, and so it's, it's been a really interesting and fun ride and yeah, I'm just really excited to see what the next year brings.
Scott: That's, it's so fantastic cause you're not only teaching these photographers but your, um, your, your definitely enhancing their business beyond what you're just giving them in your, in your education. And it's, you're, you're, you're giving them something to continually use, you know, on an, on an ongoing basis, um, as social proof, which is these days, uh, it's hard to come by real social proof. So, um, you're giving them something unique, which I think is really fantastic. Um, yeah,
Molly: Yeah. Photographers, no, you don't have to go to school to become a photographer. Like anyone can pick up a camera on, you know, and you don't have to become certified to be a photographer, but just like you said, it really gives them the ability to market and differentiate themselves. Uh, and that's, yeah, I just think that's so cool. I wish I had that opportunity.
Scott: Right, right. Yeah, totally. Um, so, so today's topic, we want to talk about, uh, some key components to a great boudoir website. And, uh, I know you've seen a lot of sites that are brood war websites. Um, at, at Imagely we run a, a company, uh, one of our sister companies called best of wedding photography and a lot of the wedding photographers that we, uh, that we look at and review to see if they are up to the standards of the, of the platform, uh, to be able to use the seal, the best of wedding photography seal as social proof. Um, we look at all their websites, their portfolios, their business, everything. And a lot of wedding photographers are adding boudoir services. So I've seen a lot of, um, you know, good, decent and really bad booed war websites. So I'm excited to hear from you somebody who's in it on a daily basis in that genre. Uh, five key components to a great boot Duar website. Okay.
Molly: Awesome. So I can just share everything I got. I got the floor here.
Scott: You got it. Let's, let's, let's go one by one, Huh. Okay, cool.
Molly: So I did list these out ahead of time. Uh, the first thing that I really think is important is having a clear call to action. Uh, one of the things I noticed, I, I do see a lot of to our websites, um, and as creatives, as artists, as a photographer, I feel like we put our emphasis on the design and the look and feel, which is important. But what's more important is actually being able to guide the viewer to the actual point that you want them to take action on. And I think sometimes what I notice is websites can have too many different options for calls to action. So I like there to be just one clear call to action. So ask yourself, you know, do you want them to contact you? Do you want them to download information? Do you want them to join your Facebook group? Like what is that step? And really write out the map of the different steps you want them to take. So what I recommend is a call to action for them to download your pricing and information. And I use a magazine I created called the dream shoot planner, part of our boot certified program. But you could even just, you know, have them give their name and email and you could just email them the information and pricing and things like that. So that is my first tip.
Scott: And, and that leads to the second
Molly: well, so that one has a, um, uh, an added benefit because now you can also build up your email list, uh, which is, which is a big thing. Uh, so if that, if those, if those leads don't hire you right then and there you have an opportunity to get them to hire you later or just stay in their back of their mind. So if somebody else that they know is interested in booed war, they, they have you, they have you in their minds and ready to share. So, um, that's definitely a, it's definitely a good thing. Um, so your, your dream shoot planner, that's only available in the, in the, in the, in your platform. It's not like a one off purchase. Like somebody can't just come to you and buy it. Correct. Everything is in our program. Uh, so yeah, we just, we find that sometimes people think they only need one thing, but you really need all the components to make, um, a successful business.
Molly: And Yeah, so you get it totally included. And I did want to kind of piggyback off what you said about the email building your email list. I'm really glad that you pointed that out. One of the things that's super important is to be able to build an email list because you know, you want to be able to like own your followers. And the cool thing is once they subscribe to you, you can now send a weekly email or you can have an automated sequence if you are tech savvy and you want to get into that. Um, but the cool thing too is you can actually look at all their names and find them on Facebook. You can friend them, you can message them. Um, you know, I think sometimes when we get a lead from the Internet, we just think like, oh, it's a number, like five subscribers, 10 subscribers. And that's like, those are real people. You know, you can find them on Facebook. You can friend them, can add them to your food, water or Facebook group. Um, and so yeah, I definitely think that's a really, really good point.
Scott: Yeah. Awesome. Um, all right, so the next one, this is the next one is one that, uh, the know, like, and trust factor, which is very common in business. So, uh, let's, let's hear about that.
Molly: Yeah, definitely. So as everyone listening knows, and I'm sure they've said this before, there is a lot of competition out there and whether you are a photographer or you own a different business, it really doesn't matter. There's always going to be competition and your job is to set yourself apart. And I think we, again, as artists focus on setting ourselves apart with our photography, which is great, which is good, but I want to challenge you to set yourself apart with your story. And anyone who can pick up a camera and enjoy photography, I believe can be a great writer. Uh, because if you have that creative artistic ability, I really believe that you can be a good writer. Don't get bogged down with like grammar or any of that stuff. Just, you know, freely tell your story. Um, and what I want to challenge you to do is write down three different parts of your life that you could tell a story about and you might not think that life is interesting enough to tell those stories.
Molly: I know that I've been there, I'm like, okay, I just go to work every day and I hang out with my dog. Like I don't really know how my life is that interesting. But, uh, one of my friends, she really opened up my world to taking those more basic or boring moments that you think are boring and, and really writing an expanding upon those because if other people can relate and if they do those things in their lives, the mat, how you build your know, like, and trust factor. So for example, um, I'm obsessed with my dog. It's like probably unhealthy how much I love my dog and I bet you that there was like 90% of you listening being like, I love my dog too. I'm a crazy dog person. And so even though, you know, it might sound boring, I write a lot about just my everyday life, like how I made avocado toast for breakfast and how I have a dog and you know, these different things and people can really relate to that. Like, Oh, I love avocado toast too. And especially with food war photography, you have to really create that friendship and you really are only doing it online unless you're going to shows or something. So through your writing and your imagery and your website and your social platforms, you have to be able to literally create friends through the Internet because people will book with you based on how they know, like, and trust you. And I really believe, especially with food, water photography a fully, because it's such an intimate and private thing.
Scott: Yeah, there's definitely genres of photography where that's even more important than others. I mean, it's, I think it's important for all of it, but um, you know, um, for when it is that intimate, uh, it's kind of essential. Um, you know, it's funny because, uh, so I have my full time jobs with Imagely. I have a part time for professional photography business and I mostly photograph families and Cake Smash Session and um, and uh, some headshots for businesses and things like that. And um, I think I've said this on the show previously, but it's often that, uh, I will meet a family at a, at a session and even though we've had interactions in the, you know, before the session, it's not like we're hanging out like we're best friends yet when we get there they say to me, hey, I feel like I know I've known you forever. And that's because of the know like, and trust factor. It's, it's, you know, staying in their mind through emails, through of what you say in the website and all of that process. It's so important. Um, it makes no sense.
Molly: Good job of that. I definitely agree. Thank you.
Scott: Um, okay, so what is number three of the key components?
Molly: Okay. So number three key components of a great website would be to show off your certifications and awards and just like your know, like, and trust factor you apart. Any higher education that you hold that sets you apart from other photographers as well. So for example, if a client is going to multiple boudoir photographers websites, um, do you think they're going to book with, with the photographer that has, you know, that is a certified professional boudoir photographer or one that does not have that. It just really helps to show them that you have really studied, um, you've earned that certification or award and you know, it just really sets you apart and shows your clients that you're professional, you can be trusted, um, and things of that nature and along with your certifications and awards, um, I want to challenge you to sort of marry that with point number two, the know, like, and trust factor.
Molly: So with all my students, as soon as they get certified, uh, we give them multiple different marketing pieces and we tell them, look, you can go now and get featured in your local newspaper or your local news station. We've had students get into all these different things. Um, you can post about this certification you've, you've gotten now on your, you know, your Instagram, your Facebook, and really just, you know, it gives you a lot of material to be able to write about and to be able to, to share with everyone and celebrate together, uh, that you're certified.
Scott: Awesome. I think that these sorts of locations in awards that you would get in putting your website, we'll have more of an impact when it is something specific to that genre of photography. So for example, it's one thing to put, you know, your certification on a boon to our website, but if you put that, if you, let's say you didn't, and instead you put, I got this, you know, master photographer certificate from PPA, while that's great, you went through a lot of work to do it, that just means that, you know stuff about photography. That doesn't mean, you know, booed war and you know, the business of booed war. So I think, uh, when it comes to these badges, these all this stuff that you would put on your website, make sure, uh, you, you, you put the effort to that, it's, it's your John or photography that is not just generic whenever possible. Right.
Molly: And your awards to, um, you know, it's a lot easier to get local awards in your community than it is to get, you know, an award at say like Wppi or something. I'm guessing. At least. I, um, I haven't done that. But anyways, um, like for example, when my studio with my studio in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, I've now moved. But anyways, backtracking, I was able to get voted best photographer in the Chippewa Valley in the area that I was in. And then now I had this digital badge that I could put on my website. I was featured in their newspaper, online, all those different things. So, um, definitely higher education, but also, you know, see what's around you. Because, you know, even if you think if you live in a small town and you're like, oh, that award, you know, it's so easy to get, like it doesn't mean much. It, it does mean a lot,
Speaker 3: you know, especially if you're a client. So I got one that said it was best family photographer in the town that I don't even live in like 40 minutes, 40 minutes away. It was specific best family photographer. Um, okay. Moving on number four.
Molly: All right, so number four, I feel like this one is probably a hit so hard to say which one's the most important.
Speaker 3: Bye. I think it's one of the most
Molly: it is I'm getting video testimonials and screenshot testimonials. Um, anytime that testimonials are good. But one thing I notice is, I don't know where this started, but, and I, I used to do this on my website too and I noticed this, that a lot of photographers do this where they will take what the client said and they'll just type it out with like their photo next to it. And although, yes, they look pretty, it doesn't necessarily show them, prove to them that that's a real testimonial. Like anyone could literally just type that in and put an image next to it. Um, and I will say like, clients are Gfe tickle like as much as you know that that's a real testimonial. Your clients don't know that. And having a video testimonial and screenshot testimonials like from Facebook, if someone comments on something, gives you a testimonial, writes in your Facebook group something, screenshot that because that is like a stamp of approval.
Molly: It showed them like, oh, at eight, oh 8:00 PM on Facebook, this person who I can look up and see that their profile is real left this real testimonial. Um, and also with video testimonials, what I teach my students to do is, uh, after they do their Davos session, which is there directly after viewing an ordering session, uh, I tell them, okay, before your client leaves, like after they place their order, you know, everything's done before they leave, ask them, you know, hey, can I quick just ask you a few questions about your experience on camera? This will really, really help, uh, people who are considering doing a boudoir shoot. And they were probably super nervous like you were. And they'll be like, yeah, no problem. And there's really just a few questions you want to ask. You want to ask them in that video testimonial.
Molly: Uh, how did you feel before coming into the session? Which is like, Oh man, you're going to get people being like, I thought it was going to Puke. I was so nervous. Like I didn't want to do it. You know, because boudoir war is so nerve wrecking right in the beginning. And then you want to ask them, how did you feel during the shoot? Um, how do you feel now after an after thing, your photos and placing your order and what this one's the most important. What would you say to a girlfriend who is considering a boudoir session and do one of those videos. It shouldn't take you more than, you know, 60 seconds. Do one of those videos for every single client and just load your website with those. And social proof is going to make booking photo shoots really, really easy for you.
Scott: Yeah. It's funny because a lot of the, a lot of what we've talked about already is social proof. Even the, your story is social proof. But uh, what I want to point out right now is, uh, four, I get what you're saying about the screenshots and how they may not look. So, uh, or not sorry. The, the type, the copy paste of the text and the image and they may not look so authentic for wordpress users. Uh, I want to point out there's a plugin. It's $99 a year. It's called WP business reviews. It is, if you want to have legit looking actual authentic reviews on your wordpress site displayed beautifully. This is the goto plugin. It is, like I said, $99 a year. It imports literally imports your reviews from Facebook, Google, Yelp, yellow pages. Uh, I think there's a couple of others and it will import it. You can have it filter by star level. So if you don't ever want to show lower than four stars, you can filter four and five only. Um, I, you know, put the date person's photo, where it was from and it even link if you want to the original, uh, direct. So that's awesome. Yeah. Um, so if, if, if you want to really dig in, uh, I'll link to that, uh, that plugin in the show notes so that you can access that.
Molly: I think you should definitely, I'll do that because you shouldn't be getting reviews on all those types to that. Fantastic.
Scott: Yeah. Um, okay. Last but not least.
Molly: Okay. So, uh, obviously something that's really important with your website is your portfolio because that is exactly what you are selling, right? You're selling your service, your, your art. Um, and so obviously you're a portfolio is really important and I'm sure all of you have your portfolio on your website though. This one you're probably like, okay, Molly, we get it. But the tip, the tip that I have, I have for you is actually to show less photos and your portfolio. And I'll talk about why. Um, one thing that I've seen, you know from looking at all these websites is photographers, they just go nuts. They put like hundreds of photos and um, which is great and it's awesome that you, you know, taken that many photos and you love that much of your work. I that's so great that you're so competent with your work, which is a huge milestone, so that's awesome.
Molly: Um, however your client, they're not going to go through all those photos, number one. Number two, it can make your website flow, although I'm sure Scott has something probably better to say about that. Number number three, um, they can sort of get, remember when I talked about the map of how you want your clients of flow and actually take action if they get your portfolio and there's so many images, they're literally just going to become overwhelmed and click out of your website. So I recommend not having more than 20. And I know you guys are probably like lies, but I recommend not having more than 20 photos in your portfolio. In fact, I think like 15 is fantastic and you want to show a lot of diversity. Um, you want to show a lot of different body types, make sure that you don't just have all model because if you're trying to book, you know, quote unquote real women, women who are not paid model for a living or not, um, you know, from model mayhem or whatever, then you need to really show that type of cost, uh, because otherwise you're just going to attract more models.
Molly: And I see this, um, mostly actually with male boudoir photographers, they'll use a lot of models and then they're like, I can never get anyone but models to want to trade with me. And I'm like, well, because you're up the only shows models. Yeah. So you really have to, um, get in, you know, even in the beginning, if you just need to do a few shoots for free just to learn how to do it and just to build your portfolio, go for it. Um, but yeah, I really recommend like making sure that you have, like I said, different types of women, different body type. Um, and make sure also that it shows your ideal client age. Make sure that you don't have a bunch of like 21 year old and you're really helping to get like 40 year old because people will book and they will relate to your portfolio. They'll go, they'll either go, oh wow, I could never look like those people. I'm not 21, you know, x App. Or they'll be like, oh wow, she looks just like me. She wore a jersey to her photo shoot. And I would love to do that too. I'm going to book with this photographer.
Scott: Oh, those are my portfolio tip. So I completely agree. Actually, I, uh, I think that I, and I've always said 20, it should be the limit. Uh, I might've even said 25 at some point, but still, that's an awesome, yeah. You did not discuss as the headed of, yeah. So, um, I basically related to if you were actually given a physical portfolio book, you don't want to overload that either. Right now I want to tie in a number one week number five. Okay. So let's say you are a boudoir photographer. Who does female pouvoir photography, male do a boudoir photography. I was about to say Du Bois and, and couples boudoir photography, which has been growing in popularity lately. Um, let's say you do all three now instead of doing one funnel in one portfolio, right? Of all of that and mixing all together, which can also overwhelm if you've got just 20 photos, but it's 20 photos of men, women and couples, you can now overwhelm instead create three funnels and you have your mail funnel, you're a female funnel, and your couple of funnel at the end of each of those funnels when we're in the portfolio section of those funnels, are those portfolios specific to those John Rose?
Molly: Yeah. Or even like fitness or, yeah. Yeah. I think so smart too. Because if a, let's say a woman wants to book for just for herself and she's going through a portfolio and there's all these couples photos, she might be in secure like, oh, my husband would never do that and now she's sad and then she's going to ask. So I think that's fantastic.
Scott: Yeah. Yeah. Um, okay. So, uh, these were families are really, really good tips. I really hope that any good war photographers that are listening or watching that you follow this advice. Um, and and definitely check out Molly is the whole course and her certification process, um, because you need that social proof and it's a, you've got a perfect learning opportunity and the social proof to go with it. Um, now, uh, this is the part part of the show that you get to ask our listeners a question. Um, so when you're ready, go for it.
Molly: Awesome. This is so interesting. I've never done it. Maha. Okay. Um, the question I want to ask you, so be sure to whatever platform you're on a leave your message below because I'm actually going to go back and, and read these. I think that'd be Super Fun. So I would love to know, comment below what is holding you back from shooting boudoir photography if you do not currently shoot it. I'm really, really excited to read all of your answers.
Scott: Awesome. So to answer this question, you're going to go to the show notes. I'll give you the link in a second. Uh, you can go to the youtube video and comment there. If you're watching the video on youtube, wherever you want, and, uh, I will be sure if you do leave an answer to the question, I will be letting Molly that sheet so that she can read it so she doesn't have to stock the, the page for the next billion years. Um, so, um, thank you Molly so much for joining the show today. I really, really appreciate it. I'm so glad to finally have you on to share your insights.
Molly: Thank you. It's always super fun chatting with you.
Scott: For sure. Uh, you can find the show notes where to find Molly. End To answer the question that she just asked you at imagely.com/podcast/ 78 and please don't forget to subscribe to the show. It's on apple podcast, stitcher, Spotify, Google play, and everywhere that you listen to podcasts. Until next time.