SB EP 74 - Simplifying Your Services

Ismail: [00:00:00] Coming up on Super Boothers have you thought about consolidating or simplifying your services? I pick Ryan's brain on how best to do this. Also we touch on whether pre-selling and asking for reviews is bad. Stay tuned. 

Ryan: [00:00:17] I'm loving the new backdrops from PB backdrops with new designs every single week yo're for sure. Going to have a new backdrop addiction with Floral, geometric print theme backdrops and even custom backdrops. They have it all. With complete one sided Pillow Cover backdrops starting $449. There's just no reason not to visit for weekly specials. 

Ryan: [00:00:56] Hello and welcome to Super Boothers my name is Ryan 

Ismail: [00:00:59] and I'm Ismail. 

Ryan: [00:01:00] Good morning. 

Ismail: [00:01:01] Good afternoon. 

Ryan: [00:01:02] It's always morning everyone. So it's been a running joke with one of my friends. Whenever I pick up the phone I always go, "Good morning." It could be you know 10:00 at night. Originally it was like Why are you saying good morning first of all good morning is a friendly greeting. Second of all I'm pretty sure I've just woken up no matter what time. 

Ismail: [00:01:22] That's probably true. It's also kind of weird to say Good afternoon. Yeah like that's too corporatey. 

Ryan: [00:01:27] No it's just really Hello good sir. Like, indeed. No no. 

Ismail: [00:01:31] Good day. Good evening. Good afternoon. 

Ryan: [00:01:34] I know. Like no just Good morning. Doesn't matter what time it is. It's just so friendly. 

Ismail: [00:01:39] Oh Ryan you get you get a start these episodes off with a little anecdote like that. I like that. 

Ryan: [00:01:43] Absolutely. I'm pretty sure there's. I really wonder when people listen to us if it's in the morning or afternoon evening or the night. 

Ismail: [00:01:51] I think most people download the new episode in the morning immediately. 

Ryan: [00:01:55] So you wake up on Wednesday. That's the first thing you do. 

Ismail: [00:02:00] That is the first thing I do. 

Ryan: [00:02:01] Oh my gosh I love it. 

Ismail: [00:02:03] So I actually wanted to pick your brain or something if you don't mind. 

Ryan: [00:02:08] Sure. You can go to my Web site at and I'll be happy to take your question. 

Ismail: [00:02:14] This is the appointment. Don't you remember

Ryan: [00:02:19] How can I help? step into my office. 

Ismail: [00:02:21] I am something I've been thinking about lately and I've mentioned kind of

Ryan: [00:02:25] Oh good for you little scarecrow doing some thinking

Ismail: [00:02:28] I've mentioned before how I did a big reboot and a rebrand. 

Ismail: [00:02:33] So part of that is I redid on my Web site and I'm trying to simplify my services and offerings and I noticed on your site

Ryan: [00:02:41] Well you're a simple person. 

Ismail: [00:02:43] Now you know I try. I noticed on your site that I found it very interesting how you came up with your services and I was curious to hear the backstory. The logic behind it. So for example this may not apply to you but this is the issue I'm running into where I have, I had an enclosed both. 

Ismail: [00:03:02] But if you listen to episode 66 we discussed why you know I'm getting rid of that and now I have the iPad and open booth style booths but they're not all the same, right. 

Ismail: [00:03:13] So I have these older open booth style photo books and now I have these iPad booth styles as well. Now I'm wondering do I position them separately or do I just come up with a name. Well I can open booth or a ring light booth and stick to that generically. 

Ismail: [00:03:31] Does that make sense? 

Ryan: [00:03:32] None. So let me get this straight. So you're telling me that you have these older enclosed style booths these newer ring light booths and you're wondering if he should just sell it as like the same package and then just

Ismail: [00:03:48] So, Let me begin to look more so if I look at your site Ryan. You have something like you have a ring light booth. And that's basically for people listening. It's the iPad both with a ring light around it. Right. But you also have different variations of that same booth for example sure a Glam Booth which is the same booth but with a specific backdrop and filter. And you also have something like a Green Screen which is the same but with a green screen. Right. So I'm wondering what they're the same booth right but you have variations that broke them up into. Why did you do that? 

Ryan: [00:04:21] Well first of all again I focus on creating content. 

Ryan: [00:04:26] I focus on

Ismail: [00:04:27] but for example couldn't you have just said ring light booth and the green screens and add on. And the glam filter and backdrops an add on. Why is it a separate booth? 

Ryan: [00:04:38] I just think that because I again try and sell the experience like that and what I mean by that is I sell the outcome. I sell the content that we're creating. So it allows me to do things that are a little bit A) more customizable and B) I can charge more for just how it's presented and packaged it rather. I would I would much rather have things. A lot of people do this. 

Ryan: [00:05:07] You know there's someone that has you know the leaf blower booth where all they do is take a leaf blower shove it in someone's face and you know they have like these crazy photos and slow motion things again you're using the same equipment. 

Ryan: [00:05:22] A lot of people do a projection booth where we have again same equipment. They just put a projector on people and it projects a print. And again same stuff just presented differently. So I think that's how I generally kind of focus these things is how to present it to the class as an outcome. Like what. What problem are we trying to solve. 

Ismail: [00:05:42] No I really like that because that's what if you think about the client's point of view. That's all they care about is what is the outcome. 

Ismail: [00:05:48] Why is it different or is it the same. So and I don't know if this is confusing but I think that a lot of boothers as I talk to have a different photo booth types like through the years they started with an enclosed they got the open booth with the DSLR camera and now they're getting the iPad ring light booths. And there's a confusion with how do you break that up into different services. Because for example from a customer's point of view and this is what I'm struggling with I have the DSLR open booth and I have the iPad ring light booth from a customer's point of view. They're both open so would you call what you just combine them into one offering and just given whatever you have available or would just separate them as they ring light booth and as a open DSLR or whatever you want to call it booth. 

Ryan: [00:06:34] Well I think that because let me tell you I guess how I ran into this situation so my issue is if you go to my storage right now you will see this. I have two storage units across Texas and both of them have like old decrepit booths and it's just because yes I am a hoarder. 

Ryan: [00:06:53] Those are my two favorite shows actually Horders and My 600lbs Life. I will be on one of those shows. I don't know which. However in my storage unit in the back I have a lot of roadie case booths so these were the like little like what. What was it called. One was called a Slimderella. It's a it's a bigger one. I forgot what the names were anyways but I still I still have those. I only keep those really for one event every year just because that's the style that they like. I don't know why I again use them maybe once a year if that. 

Ismail: [00:07:32] And that's exactly sorry to interrupt but that's exactly the issue that I have where a lot of the corporate clients that have been using it for years every year try to transition them to the newer booth and every year they say they want what they had last year. 

Ryan: [00:07:43] You can just cut it off and say I'm so sorry it's really not available. I mean you know I'm a new movie comes out. I'm so sorry I don't have a DVD player. Do you have this on VHS? It's just not going to happen. 

Ismail: [00:07:57] Okay so then you have these old booths. How did you transition from that to where you are now? 

Ryan: [00:08:05] So the way how we're going to handle that one is I really kind of go off of the experience. So one of the issues that I was running into was well why did they buy this booth or did they buy the other booth. And then I was constantly running and again I operate in all of Texas so if I had let's say one booth in San Antonio it needed to be in Dallas. 

Ryan: [00:08:23] I was running around Texas nonstop you know trying to get the right booth to the right person 

Ismail: [00:08:33] Gotcha

Ryan: [00:08:33] So the challenge at that point really was you know I don't want to focus on the booth that's going out and that's whenever I kind of made the decision to really change from what the outcome is. So then I started focusing on outcome then it did matter which booth I sent. 

Ismail: [00:08:49] But that's because all your booths have the same outcome. Right. 

Ryan: [00:08:54] Yeah. 

Ismail: [00:08:54] So even though you were transitioning from the older booths to the newer booths they had the same outcome and therefore you can consolidate them into the same offer to the client

Ryan: [00:09:03] In the same category. Yeah

Ismail: [00:09:05] OK. 

Ryan: [00:09:06] And again I don't think I would do this now just because A) I haven't used those booths in forever except for literally one client. But other than that if even if I transition to them if they say hey they want to do some different then that's when I make the transition. 

Ismail: [00:09:20] So for someone like me that has you know I'm like the listeneres on the show. I'm getting rid of the enclosed. I have these older open DSLR booths and I'm transitioning more to the iPad booths right. How would you suggest that someone like me position that to the customer because I have both in stock. They're both open. This is a ring light. It's got more social media functionality yada yada yada. This one is the DSLR higher quality and doesn't have the ring light. How would you break those apart or would you. Would you not. 

Ryan: [00:09:52] Sure. So what I would do is I mean I'm assuming your DSL R puts out a little bit of a better quality no? 

Ismail: [00:09:59] Correct. Yeah. 

Ryan: [00:10:01] So what I would do is and I still do this today. If I have a client that is spending a lot more than let's say an iPad constitutes then that's when I say Okay listen we're doing this if you want to propose that and do the DSLR booth first the client doesn't know the difference well how can we scale back. Well sure. Then you get an iPad booth and then you know I actually think we talked about this with Kelly Williams. You know you gosh we haven't mentioned her name in a while. KELLY Where have you been? No. So that's the thing is if you're working with a higher end client yes you're obviously going to propose a DSLR Booth first. If they come back to you and say well this is a little expensive what else can we do. That's when you can kind of step down to the iPad's. If you still want to keep on holding on to that inventory. 

Ismail: [00:10:51] Yeah. I mean the way that I was thinking about that was just for everyone's background is that from from watching the conversations between my team and clients we were breaking up the iPad booth versus our DSLR we were offering them separately. And I found that it didn't really click to the customer. The difference this one has a ring light and it's got social media built in but this one doesn't have the ring like but it's better quality. It just wasn't computing for them 

Ryan: [00:11:21] Well that's because you're giving too many options. So... 

Ismail: [00:11:23] Right. And that's exactly what I'm trying to consolidate them. But I want to be thoughtful about how to do so even though they kind of are a little different. You can't really consolidate it 100 percent

Ryan: [00:11:34] They're different to you. They're different to you they're not different to the client as far as the clients concerned the same things coming out. So you know a great you know Photo, Photo strips are still popping out. They don't see a difference. This is this is you being in your head too much. 

Ismail: [00:11:47] And that's exactly where I was coming up right. So you basically have a term let's say Open Booth whatever our photo booth whatever you want to have that term be. And it's the open style booth. They don't know if it's the DSLR or the iPad. It's up to you basically to choose which ones to bring. Is that where you're ending up to. Sure. 

Ryan: [00:12:05] Yeah pretty much. If these two want to maintain both of those. 

Ismail: [00:12:09] So it's almost position like yours where you actually call your generic both a ring light booth. You can't really do that. Right. How do you what are you doing with your older DSLR booths. 

Ryan: [00:12:21] I don't I mean I only propose it whenever you know a specific client comes to me and says hey listen we'll you do this specific application. I mean it's it's really it's more custom. And then I don't think I've pulled out in over a year. I mean so it just happens rarely although if someone came to me that says hey listen we want to set up this you know for an extended period of time we want to be able to lock it up if they're giving me a description that will fit that. Yes that's what I will use it. 

Ismail: [00:12:49] Okay that makes sense. That's where I was ending up I guess the only thing I got to figure out also what is the term that I would use for that 

Ryan: [00:12:55] Sure. 

Ismail: [00:12:56] That's where I was ending up and I guess

Ryan: [00:12:57] you don't necessarily have to put it out there like I don't put out there that I have these things. I only really use it whenever something is kind of requested I guess. 

Ismail: [00:13:07] Right. So again I was looking at what you had because I really liked the way you broke out the output into different options which is you know I think the way everyone should be thinking about this. So I'm I'm curious how did you decide on let's say the glam both and the green screen booth as your only other options. Is that what people are asking for the most like what went into that. 

Ryan: [00:13:29] Just my mood it really is that really is the case. 

Ryan: [00:13:34] And truthfully I have a lot more things that I'm working on that have not made it to the website yet because I want to keep it from everyone. 

Ryan: [00:13:44] Yes. I've been working on 3D video projections. I've been working on just regular projections. You know I do have. I mean I'm not big on the leaf blower thing but yes there are absolutely other things that I'm working on that I do kind of keep in my back pocket that I don't put out that I do only because I want to keep everything is tailored and as custom is possible to each individual activation. 

Ismail: [00:14:11] So how do you decide what actually is on your site. How do the site of the three offerings that you put publicly. Does anything go into that? 

Ryan: [00:14:19] Well I think a lot I think I have ring light first and then I have green screen. I have a roaming photo booth on there. I have glam booth and I have headshots station and those are pretty much the top five things

Ismail: [00:14:39] That's also a good example of again the outcome. It's the same setup really. Right. 

Ryan: [00:14:45] Exact same. It's just a just different applications. 

Ismail: [00:14:47] And I think that that's exactly what I'm trying to get to. I think that's the way we should be thinking about it. 

Ryan: [00:14:54] Do you want to be me?. 

Ismail: [00:14:54] Yeah I want to be you. It's just how do you how do you stop. Like what made up at these four like. How do you choose the three or four that you're going to go with. 

Ryan: [00:15:03] I don't know. Truthfully it was probably done at three o'clock in the morning. I looked down. I had these photos, I threw them up on the site. That's literally what it was. There was absolutely no thought into this. 

Ismail: [00:15:15] That's very helpful. It's helpful right. Thank you. Thank you. You charge for these sessions? 

Ryan: [00:15:26] Funny enough, I had a waterpark contact me after they saw something that I posted just on my personal page and they were like How do I do this? And I was just like you just kind of come up with the idea just let something inspire you like this clearly inspired you to get to thinking about you know what you should do social media wise. Now you take your application and just kind of put it in you know wherever you feel is the next progression. So again we talked about I did the Miss United States pageant. 

Ryan: [00:15:58] My idea is simple doesn't take a lot of thought what if we did. Everyone wants the crown. What if we turn the crown into a digital prop. What if you know that's the only thing that we offer because that's the experience that you're putting out there. I want every single person to go in there with a crown on their head and take a photo. How sharable is that. That's that's the thing. You just need to kind of create. You know you could come up with anything. Give me 10 minutes. I will give you an amazing proposal. Literally anything

Ismail: [00:16:31] but but the the offerings that you have we're not really a result of people asking for them or they were booked the most often. Just whatever yes. 

Ryan: [00:16:39] Yes I do a lot of green screen. I do. And it's also stuff that I want to sell. So whenever I did the iPad Headshot station that was something that I needed to start selling to people again. Whenever I did Super Bowl and did a bullet time I spent so much money on all those cameras all the software all the rigging. You better believe I need to start selling that again. And the only way you can start selling it is if you just put it out there. So again I love doing green screen. I love the things that I create. That is something that I enjoy doing. I know I can do it well for other people so I need to put my work out there enough so that people can see hey listen this is what he does and this is also it gives me license whenever a client comes to me and says you know OK can you just create something for us. That's how I get you know carte blanche. 

Ismail: [00:17:29] I also find personally that's a good way to test different things that you may be thinking about rolling out on a grander scale. Just putting it up there see it. 

Ryan: [00:17:37] Absolutely. If you put it out there and people you know want to buy it show interest thing. Yeah you got something on your hands. I mean that is literally how it should work. If someone comes me and they say I want to buy this again I do not have mirror booths. I'm not a mirror booth sort of person. I can't take a mirror booth on a subway. I'm so sorry. It's just not my game. I'm not doing that. 

Ismail: [00:18:02] Yeah that's a great example because I've actually saved myself from a lot of headaches by doing that. Like for example with the mirror booth or with other things I've tried offering like slowmotion booth or flip the flipbook stuff I've actually try out my site as often selling it to people in my area. My client base and they didn't do it was always successful. So that's hoping not to invest into that further and not to offer it. Not only that those are also a lot harder to do so. 

Ryan: [00:18:30] Sure. So I do. I've done I've done a lot of roaming photographers for a very long time right around whenever iPad's first. We're kind of coming available and it's just something that has always kind of you know progressed. That is something that works for me that my clients love. I mean I'm absolutely going to be selling that more you know. OK. And ever you buy whenever you buy a new product. Again I've talked about this before. Whenever you are thinking of buying a new product

Ismail: [00:19:02] before you buy it. 

Ryan: [00:19:03] Before you buy it you need to sell it

Ismail: [00:19:05] Yep. 

Ryan: [00:19:06] I don't know. I do not. There are people that will really like protest that you do this. I'm just...that's just not smart. 

Ismail: [00:19:18] So probably one of the biggest business takeaways anybody can see. Even if you're starting painting. I have friends that want to start a painting company. I'm like What are you going to do first. I'm going to buy a truck. No you're not gonna buy a truck. You're going to get customers. 

Ryan: [00:19:34] Yeah, you're going to sell the thing first and get jobs first. 

Ismail: [00:19:36] Exactly. 

Ryan: [00:19:37] So this this is what I have a problem with. This is my problem, my I have a problem music. 

Ryan: [00:19:48] So what I what I am going to say here is pre selling is not bad at all. And I think that I have started my career in this. I have, I have built an empire off of selling stuff before I have it and I'm sure there are a lot of people will say that that's wrong you shouldn't do you shouldn't sell products that you don't have. 

Ryan: [00:20:14] I'm sorry no your stupid reason. The reason why I do not sugarcoat stuff because you're gonna eat that too. So the reason why I say this is because you need to prove that there is an interest in your market to be able to sell this. My accountant told me you can buy anything you want so long as you have people willing to purchase it. So for example if you want there's a new video mapping thing coming out. If you want to purchase that sell it first make sure that you have it available. So either A) make sure that someone else has it that you can contract to go do it. If you don't sell enough. So for example let's take a let's take a mirror both for example you get permission to do this or if you want to buy stock photos or whatever you want to do however obtain photos put on your Web site start selling it again sell it like three or four months out because that's what you know we have the ability to do. Start taking deposits on that those deposits are not your money. That is not your money. That is money that needs to go into an account that you need to save to purchase this. Once you hit enough which truthfully you should hit that I should have it paid off in the first rental. Is there someone that like me like for example if I have a big client hey we want a mirror booth, great. It's six thousand dollars. 

Ryan: [00:21:43] That's just how I come about it. 

Ismail: [00:21:45] Well that's that's not really I agree with you but I think it's not as realistic for the bigger ticket booths. It's like a mirror booth that's hard to do that in one event. 

Ryan: [00:21:53] Yeah watch me. I mean again that's again Super Bowl with bullet time I did it for 12 days. So yeah the ticket was big enough to purchase everything and then some. So that's what I'm saying is just wait. 

Ismail: [00:22:06] But not everyone has a Super Bowls. What I'm trying to get at. 

Ryan: [00:22:09] I'm sorry, stay poor. I can't help you. 

Ryan: [00:22:12] But this is my thing again again again. Yes it's a big ticket item so if you need to sell it five or six times in order to get to that point then do that. 

Ismail: [00:22:19] Exactly. 

Ryan: [00:22:20] I'm just saying that for me I need to have it done and taking care of in one rental because I'm not going to go beyond that. But what I'm saying is hold on to that money save that money. That's not your money. Whenever you hit that threshold then go ahead and buy it. 

Ismail: [00:22:33] This is something I totally agree with you on by the way. And it's interesting to me that it's so controversial. Like if anyone even hints at doing this online everyone comes out of nowhere and starts commenting about how it's unethical. 

Ryan: [00:22:47] And I can tell you why is because the people that have done it not successfully are the ones that have screwed people over. 

Ismail: [00:22:54] Right. 

Ryan: [00:22:55] That's why it has such...and I will name names but this is just DM me. 

Ismail: [00:22:59] This is a very common practice right. You can look everywhere and you see businesses doing this all the time even for example colleges they allow students to enroll in classes. 

Ryan: [00:23:11] Before you've even graduated! 

Ismail: [00:23:12] Right. But if they don't get enough students that class is not happening. 

Ryan: [00:23:15] Yeah absolutely. 

Ismail: [00:23:16] They cancel the class. So I really don't understand the negativity around presell and I think that that's the best way to validate it. 

Ryan: [00:23:25] Another way to do it which is what I've done you know I'll be frank my local boothers in my market and if they have something that I don't have let's say a mirror booth I'm like Hey man. Would you mind if I use some of your photos to sell it and I'll sell it to you. Oh no problem. So I get permission from them. I have someone that knows how to fulfil the service and I can use it as a way to validate that there's a market for it

Ryan: [00:23:48] for sure. 

Ismail: [00:23:48] Why would I invest all that money into buying a booth that I found out wouldn't have been booked anyway. It would be stupid. It would be stupid. Yeah. So. But I don't get why everyone's got this fear mindset about you shouldn't do that as well. 

Ryan: [00:24:01] So this is this is it. This is another thing that kind of came up recently is the subject of reviews. And so for example if you ask your client or gives some incentive for review. Same thing goes for vendors. There are people that see that as well you're buying a review that's unethical. 

Ryan: [00:24:23] I call B.S. Chipotle does it. Chick-fil-a does it. You go on go to chick fil a. Go check on your receipt. It says if you go and complete this survey with this code we will give you free food. It is an incentive. I have a big problem with people that do not believe that that is ethical it's an incentive you're not buying a review. You're not giving someone cash or giving someone a reason to complete that review for you. 

Ismail: [00:24:59] It's also not a fake review. Right. You're just giving people to actually go through the effort of giving you the review otherwise you never get them. 

Ryan: [00:25:05] Plenty of clothing companies do it. You know you'll buy something. The boxes come in. You'll open up your thing there's your shirt or whatever it is you purchased. And there's a little card that says on your next purchase you get this. You know if you leave a review on the site here's how you do it. Here's how you claim it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And we'll talk about that in a couple of episodes when we do a whole episode on reviews. 

Ismail: [00:25:28] Yeah I mean again a lot of people have this negative view on this stuff and I just get baffled by why where's that coming from. But everyone should think for themselves. And I totally agree with Ryan on this especially with the pre-selling. You know you're not going to presell something that's happening tomorrow that you don't have the equipment for. You're not being stupid about it but you can actually presell in an ethical way. I don't understand the whole hoopla around it. 

Ryan: [00:25:54] Now I just think it's dumb. So anyways children don't do that stuff don't buy stuff without having other people buy it from you first. 

Ryan: [00:26:15] Next week on Super Boothers. 

Ismail: [00:26:18] OK. Speaking of that one other thing that I want to dig into is how do you like. Obviously you have that for people want plan their content but what are some general guidelines for how often do you post when do you post. Because there are these tools out there like buffer that allow you to schedule posts. I don't know if they work with Instagram. 

Ismail: [00:26:36] I don't think they do now? So is that what you do? Do you just kind of sit down and plan out a whole month to put it up there and forget about it. Or? 

Ryan Salinas