Photographer, Educator, Tech Maven, and Entrepreneur, Nate is passionate about empowering others do more of what they love. He founded StickyAlbums.com in 2012 to let all photographers easily create custom branded mobile apps for each of their clients, grow their word-of-mouth referrals. Now, the launch of StickyAPPS strengthens his commitment to helping all photographers build stronger businesses with more customers and recurring revenue they can count on all year long.

United States


00:00:00this is full-time photographer the number one podcast for creating the lifestyle you want through photography City hey guys it's Josh Rocio subscribe to this podcast and get inspiring interviews every Tuesday if you guys have any questions or interview suggestions email me at support at full-time photographer. Com this episode 299
00:00:29I'm excited to be interviewed Our Guest today Nate grey heck Nate is a portrait photographer and founder of sticky albums some you might have heard of sticky albums but he actually came out the new product called sticky apps and he has a lot of experience with Mark helping Market photographers tapping into the power of mobile that's one of things were to be talking about today which is really interesting and now it's sticky apps is a new way for photographers to make money now I have Nate I'm having him come on here and talk about this because I remember a while back my mom is a portrait photographer and she actually contacted me and she's like hey I have this new program I didn't know what it was is like sticky something I'm sure it was a stick out right so she contacted me and she's like check this out of SoCal she was explaining to me the whole thing like how it's really beneficial night like I was kind of getting a buzz I got yeah it's cool it's cool but then she kept on like sending me all these albums using it in her photography business I mean it's been
00:01:29really amazing so anyway I talked about a lot of stuff but anyway how's it going good dude thank you so much it's not every on the show I reached out to you cuz I just love I saw some of your training and I love your Photography in this idea of full-time photographer has been something that appealed to me from day one when I was out had a job in the corporate scene and I was always like the world of Photography is my passion if only there was a way someday that I could earn like full-time Revenue as a photographer I never thought it was possible and so as soon as I came across now fast-forward for 5 years of being in the industry I always like resonate with that term of like full-time then gets the bottom line is when I was making that decision to like leap from the corporate gig was right around the time that Steve Jobs passed away in his I don't know if you guys have ever seen his commencement speech he did he was back in 05 to the school I stand
00:02:29score of I'm not sure what but it is really popular species done now and the take away from me is that we spend so much of our time at work right that they were just hours in a years of Our Lives working yeah and it just isn't worth it unless you're doing something you love to do and so that really gave me the fuel to make the leap and start my own company and now I fast forward 4 years I've been running stickyalbums which is a software tool for portrait photographers that's what your mom's using it was a really cool tool and I still at we've got over 6,000 portrait photographers using it ensured that if you do any kind of porch at work it's the best way to book word-of-mouth customers to boost your word about their pharaohs right
00:03:20and so that is if you want to learn more about that at Sticky albums.com I think that your audience is probably going to resonate a little bit more with our new product which is for all photographers not just portrait it says clearly new way to make money as a photographer will dig in all that but first I wanted to spend some time just talking about mobile and how it's really changed our industry changed everybody's industry right there really quick I just too with that full-time photographer thing cuz I I mean obviously I had somebody started like the whole name and all that but yeah I mean it was the same for me at like going full time I just really resonated with that and I think that resonates with a lot of people and that's sort of the same thing that you're doing here which is awesome now for the audience we usually don't like promote products right on this it's it's all about the free content everything but so we wanted to talk a little bit about you know this whole mobile thing and how they can help us all their Market ourselves
00:04:20mobile but also I want you guys to go check out sticky albums because I mean when my mom's when using it it's amazing like we get more into that into some detail but yet so go ahead and just more about light I think mobile super excited and I don't want to come across as sales eat the bottom line is I'm going to talk today about what we see working and you can pull this off using any technology that's available out there and I want to focus on getting my goal for today is that everybody in the call starts to think a little bit differently about how valuable the skills you already have are in and you can just grab the tools out there already that are available to anybody and start making more money as a photographer because the skills in the tools out there I'm already there just for the taking it just changing the way we look at what's out there and waking up to the demand that there is for the skill-set so let's start back at you
00:05:20how big mobile is and how quickly it changed right so one of the stats I like talk about is from the beginning of Apple when Apple's first started I don't forget the dates right now all the way up until like 2014 they sold something like 5 million Mac computers right 5 million that's a lot of computers crazy until you start until in 2014 they sold like something like 8 million iOS devices in one year so when one year right around the 13 14 threshold is now apple is selling more computers that go in people's pockets then they ever sold in computers the whole history of Apple being around now they're selling like a million iPhones and I might think there's a hundred million iPhones installed right now across the us alone and mind
00:06:20talking iPhone I mean this is duplicated with Android with all mobile is not just a silly Trend but it's here to stay right as change the way we live our life other than the newer stats I like to talk about is how I think about 4 how many hours of the day is your phone within an Arm's Reach of you right now and 90% of people say it's it's over 23 hours a day that you sleep with the next shoot the first thing you look at when you wake up it's the first thing you look at our last thing you look at when you go to sleep at night I said it's like depressing it's a depressing so true yeah I think that I mean I can go on and on about the negatives and I'll just summarize that with humans take a little bit kind of leg behind a little bit on the technology technology usually comes raging forward and we have to figure out how to use it appropriately and effectively right we're still in that phase of like what is the social appropriateness for being on her phone all the time right
00:07:20in anywhere still learning that and it if there's there's a sad cases but there's also great experience it like that the amazing benefits I think still far outweigh any of the negatives right we're getting better as we go that's love I mean it's crazy because this something I always tell people always preach about this the photographer's have been doing the same marketing that's been done for like 30 years same exact marketing and not saying email markings bags that still works but it's like like the same marketing people are not thinking outside the box 1 I mean things that you're saying like that with statistics of Apple selling so many iPhones that's just Apple that's not even like other companies you know I mean so when and I think I'm sure jumping ahead here but that the whole idea here I love it is that we should open our minds to other types of marketing and if we are wanting to reach somebody think about mobile first because that you know a lot of the time we think of desktop with him some reason everybody's on a desktop all day but it's like like when you go to
00:08:20lunch and it's your free time that's when you start looking at my phone. You know you think about what's a bottom line in business is what everybody says location location location right that's the first thing I learned in business and so okay take that that old like non-digital practice and you applied to digital you need to be where your customers are. The whole world is on mobile now more and more you going to start to meet people and families who don't even have a computer they just have a phone that's that's all they need and so when we think about building our marketing Pages as a photographer just your portfolio your homepage and has to be mobile-friendly right there's no longer an option and now it's this transition into let's see I want to talk about why the date April 15th 2015 is important
00:09:14on every photographer most of you guys probably already know of heard about it but first let's talk about really quick before I ask a question which I'm sure a lot of people have you ended that mobile section with we should all have websites that are mobile-friendly but if you know anything about WordPress or whatever some some stuff just looks ugly on mobile like a lot of people don't think they know how to optimize their website for mobile I wish they should be looking what that even means so it talk to just for a quick second about how somebody like maybe Optimizer for mobile or I want I want to bury the headline so that date is when at what it will do is first I'm going to talk about why it's important for photographers in the next I'm going to talk about why it's important for all small business owners rights to it okay so that date is so it's very rare that Google comes out and tells us what impacting search right they don't ever really tell people that until now
00:10:14oh by the way if your site is not mobile friendly or mobile responsive it's not going to show up in mobile search results so just think about how big that is anybody here right now you can go into your Google analytics and even if you don't just trust that your traffic the world internet traffic is now surpassed its now predominately meeting over 50% of all traffic is Mobile in depending on different Industries is going to be even higher than half right so especially in local search I think about how often you use your phone to search for something local for a local service provider like a plumber a restaurant a photographer whatever right might be right like the city and the service over 6 according to google over 60% of those types of searches are done on a mobile device I mean yeah 60% but it's like that's surprising to me like
00:11:14can you bring up a good point so think about the type of customer that you want and it's going to go up to the 90s right cuz the number that's keeping it to 60 is going to be like the grandmas and doing the old school stuff right now but if you're selling is service at the high end of the market you need to know your clientele right it is very easy to make an argument that 95% of the times your Target customers doing a search they're doing on their phone right so here's the rub on April 21st Google started because they're not going to send their mobile traffic to a terrible sight so your website stops showing up in search that's huge yeah that's crazy so so there's so many different places to get a mobile site a mobile-friendly site some of the best practices AllShare for you as a photographer is the first approach was all have a desktop first and then I'll get a mobile friend
00:12:14version of that that's such a waste of time too much it's a waste of trying to maintain two different versions and there's this new saying now everything's going to be mobile first you want to think about cuz Mobile's the future you want to make sure that your representation of yourself online looks amazing on mobile first and the best way to do that cheaply and just for managing your own time is to get a response of sight it's pretty standard term but in general in Goat means that your site responds to whatever device it happens to be opened on whether it's a tablet an Android whatever it is right it just ranges itself to look great on any device
00:12:56and so there's a number of different places you can get that I'd like Squarespace sites trying to think of others that I like right now on WordPress I notice before you even get like a theme yeah you should make sure that is responsive in the past I I just didn't I had no clue it's like what the heck is a response if you know but now I'm almost home I think have it but just yeah I think I just checked
00:13:21so before we get to In The Weeds yet I don't want to lose the experts on the call that are like yeah we get it this is this is like old news cuz that's what we've learned is that hears what exciting thing is when I talk to other photographers and I looked I go to different forms online when this date past photographers were talking about this we get it we've got this enormous Head Start because we've had to adapt to doing business online before almost all small businesses have we don't realize it really but we have this great head start on what it means to run and market a business online and when you look at other small businesses in your city that haven't had this chance to adapt it took like 10 years for most small businesses just to get on the internet but then all of a sudden the rug kind of get ripped out with under them with mobile mobile came across it like a snap your fingers overnight the whole web went mobile and that now they're just like spinach
00:14:21like I don't I don't know what to do with her know where to go how do I get them back up what the mobile-friendly site do I need an app what do I need right so what worked I saw this trend happening we are with just our stickyalbums product with Wii soft portrait photographers creating these really simple one-page albums are apps we call them for the Portugal and then what was happening is the parents of like a high school senior or the bride is like oh wow you mean it's really cool like app just for my portion my pictures that's kind of cool I need help with my website for my business can you help me with that isn't it just as natural way that people ask like the people they know first like wow I like what you did for my high school senior pictures for my daughter I own a flower shop can you help me with my website review help me take pictures for my website right so we saw these this pent-up demand
00:15:21of small business owners reaching out to photographers already because they're in such need for help and so we started looking at this trend in and decided to build sticky apps in with sticky apps is it's a platform for all photographers commercial fashion whatever it is to build really simple template-based marketing sites or small businesses in your area so that's the foundation and then on top of that there's a real talk a little bit before the end about one of my favorite Innovations is instead of just selling this one off to a florist for let's say I don't know five hundred bucks a thousand bucks cuz that's really not worth your time either write the real power in our package is that we also give you the sticky payments so that you can charge the florist a hundred bucks a hundred $50 a month recurring it turns out to be this perfect fit because part of the reason why we slow down so
00:16:21but let's look at think about this opportunity for a second to so Josh what percentage of small businesses in the u.s. do you think currently don't have a website yet in 2013 small busy because I don't know what I mean small business in service industry 20% maybe don't I don't know that's what I thought I mean 15 right what I was going after let's ask another question and we can all the Imagine our brains the last time you did a local search for the hair cut flowers or if you're in the wedding industry like a wedding venue Cake Shop any kind of local Boutique service like this right imagine was that website like mobile-friendly Google flights just a Google listing is not like cuz I assume these websites are so bad right yeah I'm so I started this business
00:17:21with the idea of just helping all the small businesses out there that don't have a mobile-friendly site or hate the site that they have cuz it like some Uncle Bill them for him and they won't help him anymore or they pay too much and they can't afford anymore that's what I wanted to help but lo and behold after doing a research according to google less than half of small businesses in the US have a website that means over 50% of small businesses in the us alone don't even have a website at all still at that number just blows me away you can still run a business and not have like they're so behind the times they don't know where to go so I'm using this she she uses it in in sort of a different way and out in the roof is sticky albums to get out okay
00:18:21albums it's or portraits it's about like a super gallery to help you spread word of mouth right u.s. space on their own app icon they freak out bring you a bunch of word-of-mouth for your portrait business has been like awesome seem to share one link has her logo that you know so like as soon as she gets done with the photoshoot she'll send it to the client I'll send it to all their family and I mean it's one of those things you hear what you hear you guys saying that you know telling us how awesome it is but until you actually use it you're like wow this is actually works so with sticky apps so explain this a little bit further is this is this a way that photographers can let's say they shoot the photos for the company and then they go to the company and say I'm going to create you a mobile-friendly marketing site in charge monthly for it so I think some to create some distinction for you guys so if you were listening you can text the word sticky to the phone number 3
00:19:211313 one two test test sticky 231-3131 it'll Bounce U Back with a sample a sticky app that is a template for wedding venues in so when you're looking at that I want you to think about how does that site compared to what most wedding venues have in your city so that'll help you kind of think about what exactly a sticky up as it's a very simple one-page site because the vast majority of small businesses don't need something complex that's that's part of the problem with the people that have something that they hate is it's just too much all they need is gorgeous images some basic content an email form and phone number and a place to contact right that's it get the rest out of the way so so now this is this is for I'm pretty think what is the benefit of like like why would you why would a company go with this I mean I'm not saying this in like a negative way but I'm trying to understand
00:20:21awesome idea it's not just making money with photography it's like opening it up to to be able to use your Photography in a creative way in the thing is not everybody could do this and I think that's why you're focusing on photographers because photographers can create amazing images for for these companies and that sort of what I'm doing just not on not on this level like I haven't used sticky apps yet but I've been doing this for other companies it's like I always tell photographers that that you need to figure out not only can't just be waiting by the phone for the next job because I sort of old school it's all about creating a use for your photography like going out there I have a client that I'm able to do these mailers for and I mean like I make really good money and I don't have to be cocky or whatever but it's like something so small and it would seem insignificant just a do mailers but it's like because I'm converting for them and and I solved something for them to solve this problem they they love me and they pay me for it so I think
00:21:21that's why this is so awesome is because it is like opens it up for photographers not just about photography it's not adding you so not really quick I text okay there I texted send text me 431-3131 sticky and it comes up I haven't actually take a look at I'll take a look after but something really important I want to talk about what you were saying is providing value a small business owner talk about it from the perspective of the small business owner and from you the photographer so let's start with the photographer bottom line is with template-based web sites in the in the mobile has done is that we don't need to get crazy unique and complex with our website anymore right that wheel has been made let's stop Reinventing it you were the photographer do not have to become a web developer that's not what I'm suggesting but we talked about why is digging to why in the world is a 2015 in over half of small business
00:22:21still don't have a site what why is that right that's why I really dug into start exploring and I've got two answers one is there stuck they don't know where to go on one hand they can go to Squarespace and they can try to build it themselves a many of you guys have tried that and it's photographers you're like that so easy because you've been building stuff online for a couple years ago exactly in bottom line is a florist or a landscaper they don't want to write the whole do-it-yourself Market is created only when the cost of a pro get out of control right so on the other end they can we can all go hire a custom designer developer to build a site for us will because it's just supply and demand because the demand for technology help is so crazy high right now did it cost you 30 grand to get a web an app made a custom website can be anywhere from 5 to 20 grand in so of course
00:23:21Forest can't afford that so then they're like well I'm going to try something myself and they get they tried over and over there embarrassed to admit how many times I've tried and failed you have this great beautiful templates on Squarespace I love them but what happens the problem with both of these Solutions do it yourself or a custom developer guess what both options don't provide professional imagery professional imagery is the most important way to tell a story about your product or service hands down right we all know that it's bottagra Furs well guess what small businesses are starting to wake up to that if we look at Airbnb we've heard that story before right why they were trying to understand when they are first starting out in New York City why did some houses get rented and others not professional imagery it so now Airbnb pays for a photographer to come in and do the shoot professionally because they know that that property will rent more based on just professional pictures so those
00:24:20don't go through and through any other industry if you want to sell and tell a story about the service you provided a product you created you've got to have professional pictures right I love that and I mean it's that that's the thing like good photographers get scared because I think the photography industry is going downhill like stock imagery is coming in everybody's just using stock but there's that's like that I don't think that's like 10% of the photo industry you know the other side is is shooting custom imagery you can't buy stock images for wedding can buy stock images for a certain commercial product or for a florist shop e candles by somebody else's stock imagery and use it for your website you know exactly so I love this whole thing and I'm super excited about this idea because it is a new way of making money and I suggest if you're ready if you can afford it like just try it out you know and and I don't get a commission for
00:25:20it's nothing you know I did I just think it's interesting I just get him back to like I'm just passionate about helping you guys think about this little differently so what I want to give photographers a Josh you're already making really great money it took you years to comb your craft to hold your network in your business relationships so that you can make a living on just the image like good for you dude that's awesome and so there's people like you and listening that already making a good living just just providing the image when somebody comes to you and now this is for you Josh and others at this level a lot of time do you might have a small business that that's like hey I need help with mailers for me or some some images for my website and it says small business they don't quite have their phone or anything yet they're not making a ton of money they can't quite afford your full rate yet right yeah I'm so it's it's a lot of times I'm sure you have to turn down some of the smaller businesses what I want sticky apps to be able to do
00:26:20is it gives you a way to say yes the lower end because you can sell them both the image and the website which does it take you less than an hour to build so you go do one shoot for a landscaper right and then you build him a website in about an hour or two and then they're paying you a hundred to $200 a month on going I love that box is not a big deal at one time and they obviously can't afford 3 for Grand up front but they're happy to pay you monthly cuz it's something they can budget and now it starts to give you this cool cushion is great like recurring Revenue stream cuz you were we were talking before the call the higher up the food chain you go that way the morning consistent things get right all of a sudden you don't have anything for a couple months and then there's like 4 gigs that show up in one month yeah so this can help smooth that out for people and then for others that are just getting started on a call this is a path is a realistic path you can take just
00:27:20learning recurring Revenue while you hone your craft while you build your relationships in we have somebody there Kate track in the program or what she's graduated been doing this for two-and-a-half 3 months now she's already earning like over $1,500 a month recurring with like 10 small businesses she's partnered with and she's making a month is now going to be like 16 $1,700 a month that's it it's as bad as her slowest season gets right now and by no means am I saying that this should be your full-time gig this is all designed to supplement everything else you have going on so that like just think of the peace of mind you can have if you got these fixed expenses and running a business when you can start to have 500 $800,000 coming in without question each and every month it's a great idea super unique to weigh to get in early enough today
00:28:20try something new and I'm all by minute we talked about this earlier like I'm all about just trying new things going out there you know somebody has a good idea. Let's just try it you know like it if somebody is offering knowledge and some like back door as far as marketing goes some some type of new marketing like like go go do that and to those who feel like they can do it on their own you know like you like me I can I can create a website on my own like yeah. It's a headache to a to manage and everything so this is probably a better idea anyway but like for those who feel like they can do it on their own I hope that we could have at least giving you an idea as to how to make money you know and sort of where that need is and I think for those who really want to try it out like there's a price that you wanted to go over pricing really quick just sort of Chrysler it's normally a 499 a year for membership into the program and we give you access to the Builder the pricing platform and a big I won't go too deep into it
00:29:20but the one lesson I learned through drowning the first company and through the last 4 years is that technology alone is not enough we can't just give people software engineer go have some fun it's bundled an academy would like we been over 6 hours of HD video training templates one-on-one coaching a private Facebook group all of this stuff to support this new part of your business and so that's all included in that fee I want why we Post in the show notes will have a link to suggest take taking a look at one of our webinars for get sticky apps.com and I and take a look this is something you're interested in I'd be happy to to explore but backed up my big takeaway for you guys it's just to think about how you can tap into your existing skills the fact that you are experts in photography that alone is worth so much money to small businesses in your town and just sitting down interviewing a small business owner
00:30:20can them about their goals what they're trying to accomplish in their marketing just starting there is a great place and what we're learning is that you were the photographer had become an expert in marketing your business online the skills you learned is doing it for yourself has qualified you as a marketing consultant to small business owners and now partnering with with this package with this platform you can now offer your Consulting essentially as a monthly fee where sometimes they need a website other times they need a video everybody's got it like a unique set of skills brother you have experience creating like print you do male is right you can include that as a package feature based on like of unique small businesses needs and your skill set and you create a unique monthly package or bundle just for that small business and they're going to pay you monthly for that service
00:31:20get those clients who may not have a button up front and just charge a monthly cell K Nate we have to end it there because I love this whole conversation I hope that the audience got a lot out of this as far as like looking in the right direction you don't figure it out what is working right now Mobile's working with whatever you're doing that you want to say just in general focus on mobile on Facebook ads to try to get out there and you don't focus on mobile whatever you're doing and all your advertising so Nate thank you so much for coming on so go check out what is it gets sticky apps.com get sticky apps.com going to check that out and Nate thanks for coming on to it is an honor thank you so much have a good one
00:32:04do you wish your photography could stand out and get more exposure improve your photography skills and learn expert techniques composite planet.com has the most creative Photoshop tutorials that will take you to the next level use coupon code 10 off for 10% off any product or tutorial guys thank you so much for tuning into today's episode remember to visit our site to get updates on the best tips to grow your business visit full-time photographer. Calm And subscribe to our free newsletter thanks again and we'll see you soon

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