Today on the blog we’re talking with Design Aglow Course Contributor Allie Siarto about her journey as a photographer, how Virtual Sales upped her game, and how she uses Design Aglow products in her business.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey as a photographer.
I originally worked in public relations in Chicago, but when I needed a creative outlet outside of the corporate walls, I enrolled in a photography class with a local nonprofit photography community. I was immediately hooked. By the end of the year, I was teaching classes as a volunteer, and I called up the first photographer I found on The Knot to ask if I could tag along and help out.
I ended up third shooting and assisting that photographer for a season before moving back to Michigan (where I’m originally from). I built up my photography business for about four years before jumping in full time.
Over the years, you have become quite an expert on virtual sales!
Which Design Aglow products do you sell the most and what has your client feedback been?
The Design Aglow frames are definitely a big part of my brand. I remember the first time I saw a Design Aglow wall gallery layout on Pinterest. It stopped me in my tracks, and I literally couldn’t fall asleep that night as I thought about how I wanted to build everything around those frames and perfect wall layouts.
I used to sell a huge mix of wall art options (standouts, canvases, prints, etc.), but once I got rid of everything else and just focused on frames for wall art, I felt like everything fell into place.
I especially love the 20x20 frame with nine square 5x7 prints. It’s a great way for my clients to show off nine of their favorite images and really tell a story in one frame without the need to create a full wall gallery. It’s also great for wedding clients who know they’ll be moving soon, since it easily fits in a lot of different spaces.
How do you prepare your portrait and/or wedding photography clients for VPS?
You really have to set expectations from the very beginning. When you come to my website, you’ll see an image with various products and a link to a post about “How to Style Your Home with Photos.” Then I have another post that shows a tour of my own home and how I incorporate my own photos into it. I want my clients to think about what they actually want to do with their photos when they get them so they don’t just sit on a hard drive forever.
After my clients book, I send them my Style Guide magazine that gives them tips to prepare for the session. It has them walk through rooms of their homes to take photos of walls and really consider the colors and style—then we design the session and outfits around that to make sure it fits.
The Style Guide magazine also gives them more ideas for styling their photos into their homes. I tell them that I want them to feel like Joanna Gaines herself came to their home to style the photos into it. Even if they have no sense of design, I’m giving them the tools to make their home look awesome, and I’m walking them through every step of the way.
Your Virtual Product Sales course has been a game-changer for so many photographers. What do you consider the most valuable key takeaway?
I think it’s important to know that there’s a middle ground between shoot and burn and in person sales. Just because you don’t host meetings in person doesn’t mean you can’t sell any products. You can still apply the basic concepts of in person sales to digital sales to make them more effective.
I was actually really successful with in person sales before I had my second daughter, burned out from all of those meetings that took me away from home in the evenings, and moved to virtual sales. I carried a lot of what I learned from in person sales over to my new virtual workflow.
Why is this course different from other sales courses in the industry?
Every other sales course I’m aware of is focused on in person meetings or Skype meetings where you have to set aside time (typically in the evening) to talk directly with your clients.
My sales workflow isn’t like that. I love to tell the stories about how I made $1,000+ print sales while trick-or-treating with my kids, going to a trampoline workout class, or sipping wine with friends at book club.
Want to get these same results? Take Allie’s Virtual Product Sales Course.