What it takes to sign a 20K contract?

I know a 20K contract in your photography business may seem completely unreal and entirely unachievable when you’re starting out.

Heck, a 4K contract feels like it lives on Mars in the beginning. I know—I remember the feeling really well.

And I hear you talking to your screen…

  • I’ll never get there

  • They’ll never pay that

  • I live in a small town

  • That’s crazy!

  • I’d never spend that much

  • I don’t have enough gear

  • That’s not realistic

But what you’re really sayin’ is…

  • I’m not good enough

  • I don’t know where to start

Well, I’m here to tell you—no SCREAM at you—you are good enough.

You just have to go-get yourself there.

Here’s what is takes to sign 20K contracts in your photography business:

  1. Get (really) good.

    You don’t have to be the BEST photographer in the world. You do, however, need to strive to be the best you can be for your clients. And keep working at improving your skills, invest in yourself, practice your craft, and get clear on your work style

  2. Want it.

    You will never sign big contracts if you don’t make it a priority and create a business that supports big contracts.

  3. Ask.

    Yup, wanting a 20K contract and asking are two different things.

  4. Ladder up.

    There are many strategies you can employ to make your business big contract ready. You have to think about and plan your sales ladder, pricing strategy, hierarchy of your associate team, services you offer and all the options that gently escort your clients to climb up your big contract ladder.

  5. Over-deliver.

    Always under-promise and over-deliver. To clients, vendors, your team, even yourself—anyone your business interacts with you over-deliver. On EVERYTHING. This means you do what you say and say what you do. It’s how you operate with integrity, always play your long-game, and build a reputation that attracts and converts.

  6. Experience focused.

    Think about everything in your business from your client’s perspective. What experience are you delivering? On the phone, in emails, your website, your meetings, your team, what you wear, how you make them feel—every interaction counts here.

  7. Flexiblility.

    You’re not going to get to the top by being rigid. You’ll have to be flexible and even negotiate at times to make it all work. It’s OK.

  8. Systems, systems, systems.

    You have to embrace and understand systems support your success. It’s a place a lot of creative aren’t always comfy. But when you create sales systems that motivate, production systems that deliver on time, product up-sells that build additional revenue, team systems that replicate your profits—you build a smart business that’s ready to take off and deliver big contracts to happy clients.

  9. It’s a circle.

    The success of your business is a circle—not a straight line. I see this mistake so often. Photographers delivering the photos after a shoot and never completing the circle (and leaving enormous amounts of revenue on the coffee table). You have to help your clients climb your sales ladder, take them to the next level where they spend more, follow-up and make sure they’re beyond happy, and finally you need their story to sell. Once you have their happy testimonial, you tell their story and sell your next 20K contract. Get clear on this—your success is a circle, not a line.

  10. Believe in yourself.

Without this, you won’t get far fast. If you don’t have an unshakeable belief in yourself, you will not book big contracts. You need to understand the value you bring, what you are worth, and WHY. It’s OK if you’re working on parts of yourself—we’re all works in progress. You might feel unsure about some part of your job…but you need to know deep inside you are awesome and no matter what, you can do this.

Get yourself there. Push yourself, get a mentor or coach, take risks, keep learning—but no matter what, you need to know you got this before you walk into that 20K contract meeting.