Checking on Friends: A New Look at Marketing

Guest: April Graves

Owner | Light Drawn Studios
Lake Forest & Barrington, Illinois

DATE: January 25, 2024

Welcome to another episode, where we tackle a topic that can feel intimidating for many of us – marketing. It’s that thing we know we need to be doing but where/how do we do it? And how can we do it in a way that’s not icky or too salesy?

Our guest today is April Graves, a seasoned portrait photographer from Illinois, who brings a refreshing new look at marketing. With years of experience in the business and a background as a children’s fashion designer for a luxury clientele, April has seamlessly integrated her unique approach to design and client care into her photography business. 

In this episode, she shares her journey, discussing how she combines newfound knowledge and ideas from The Art of Selling Art course and our Mindshift Community with her existing knowledge to offer a fresh take on marketing. For April, it has been all about checking in on her existing clients and giving them the love the attention they need to come back time and time again for her to continue telling their story and sharing their legacy.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Simplify your marketing to be more personable and have a one-on-one feel
  • Do less, but better
  • Find a new way to say no and maintain boundaries
  • Bring joy not only to your clients, but also to yourself

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [2:37] – April shares her background and a bit about her business in Illinois.
  • [3:59] – She began serving luxury clientele as a children’s fashion designer.
  • [5:48] – April also designs and creates the costumes and fashion for clients to wear during their photo sessions.
  • [8:01] – When raising prices, the only barrier is yourself.
  • [12:07] – April has been in the business and was also an educator, but she still sought to learn more.
  • [13:09] – Remember to always reach out to your existing clients.
  • [16:01] – Of course we have to market, but one-on-one contact with clients is meaningful. Try less but better.
  • [18:20] – Contacting your clients doesn’t have to be about booking a session. Check in with your friends.
  • [19:41] – In this business, you really have to love people.
  • [20:38] – When your clients are your friends, do they get discounts?
  • [22:16] – Photographers are not saving lives, but we are saving the client’s legacy.
  • [27:16] – April went through the Art of Selling Art course and shares the concepts that made the biggest difference for her business.
  • [30:18] – We all have things in our business that are staring right at us that need to be changed and we don’t see it.
  • [32:27] – Finding another way to say no may open the door to something interesting.
  • [37:01] – Write social media posts like you are talking directly to your existing clients and friends.
  • [39:13] – Sometimes we try things that don’t work or don’t feel right. And that’s okay.
  • [41:08] – April’s goal for 2024 is to bring joy to her clients that also brings joy to herself.

Links and Resources:
Download a Transcript
Episode #031 Stepping Off the Ledge with Kimberly Wylie
Essentialism by Greg McKeown

April Graves
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Do The ReWork
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Allison Tyler Jones
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