For Entreperneurs Archives - Jai Long

Entitlement is the killer of a good business

Though I’ve now been in the game for years, let me tell you, the learning never stops. As a business coach, I’m so grateful to have the awesome Six-Figure Business Map community that’s always growing and levelling up alongside me, inspiring me to dig deeper and push harder.


Entitlement is the killer of a good business. Earn your attention. Earn your customers. Earn your business.

The minute we get complacent and think we’re ‘good enough’, that’s when we stop creating a business that disrupts and demands attention. That’s when we stop giving 100% to our clients. That’s when we stop chasing our goals.

The learning never stops.

I truly believe that you can build the business of your dreams, one that’s soulfully aligned and feels authentic to you.

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I want to help pave the way for you. I’ve done it, I do it, and I want to show you the next steps to scale up your biz.

Let’s take Kate as an example.

The face behind ‘Wilderness Weddings Tasmania’, Kate and her husband Harley are a husband-and-wife wedding photography duo. She joined our community in April 2020 with “a great feeling about this whole thing!

She enrolled in the Business Map last April and I’ve been following her journey closely. I’ve grabbed some of her posts to create a little ‘highlights’ reel and case study for you.

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Her first goal was to launch a new elopement business on the 8th of June 2020, so she dove straight in – everything from reaching out to our community to bounce ideas, to 1:1 mentoring, finessing her workflow for maximised efficiency, honing in on her dream clients, networking within the industry and setting up a dedicated working studio.

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Kate hustled and hustled some more.

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And what do you know…Kate hit 100k in sales in December 2020, just 6 months after launching her new elopement business! And exactly 8 months after joining the Business Map.

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But most importantly, one of her major #wins was embracing a mindset shift of saying no to jobs that weren’t right for her, creating a business that gave her more time and energy to attract and serve her dream niche.

Six figure business map

I’m sharing Kate’s journey with you because she’s just one of the many Business Map sailors who’ve believed in their dreams and went all in, guns blazing.

When you choose to invest in yourself, that’s the moment you tell yourself and the world that ‘f***k yeah, I can do this!’ It’s game-changing.

Check out the Business Map page for more inspo. You can’t make up social proof, ammiright?!


Hey guys, today I want to chat to you about the new Clubhouse app currently blowing up social media channels across the world! We’re going to talk through what exactly it is, what it does, why it’s gaining so much traction and, most importantly, how you can utilise it to promote your authority in your space and further your business goals.

What is the Clubhouse App?

If you hang around social media a lot, you may well have heard of Clubhouse, a buzzy new app that’s got a lot of people talking. However, it’s unlikely you’re part of Clubhouse; at least not yet! So what exactly is this thing that’s come hot out of Silicon Valley and got everyone talking? Essentially, Clubhouse is an invite-only, audio-based social media app. Heavy on the ‘social’, light on the ‘media’. It lets people chat in real time, whether they’re sharing stories, collaborating, brainstorming or simply catching up.

How Does Clubhouse App Work?

Think of it like a live, free-flowing, communal podcast. You can jump in and out of various chats, covering a whole range of subjects. You can add your voice to the discussion, or you can simply sit back and take in the conversation at your own pace. It’s the social media equivalent of a soirée; you can drift between guests, stop and mingle a while, or jump around on until you find a conversation that interests you. The word ‘soirée’ is also apt as it suggests some form of exclusivity; ClubHouse is exactly that. Exclusive. As it stands, you can only get onto Clubhouse with an invitation. Predictably, it’s this exclusivity that has got people to sit up and take notice, with the limitations of invitations only increasing the app’s allure among celebrities and the entrepreneurial elite.

What is Clubhouse App Used For?

This brings us on to the next topic. Clubhouse might be hot, but what exactly is it used for? Well, there are a few ways to make the most out of ClubHouse, and there’s a damn good reason why it was worth $100 million last May, despite only having around 1,500 members. ClubHouse could redefine social media as we know it. And if you’re a savvy entrepreneur, you’ll want to pay attention, as getting in on the ground floor of the next big thing could prove invaluable for your business in the future.

For starters, Clubhouse is used for high-value conversations, as opposed to produced content. This allows the format of the app to be consistently exciting, dynamic, unpredictable and engaging. Real-time content has been explored in social media before, in the form of Instagram and Facebook lives. But never has it been front and center of a platform. This focus on a conversation over one-way produced content could be defining. The lack of algorithms effectively stops the app from devolving into an ‘echo chamber’, as other platforms have in recent years.

On top of that, the conversations themselves are exciting. Clubhouse offers people the chance to connect and interact with professionals, both inside your industry and outside it. It levels the playing field like no other social media app has before. And it’s doing it in the most natural way possible; by using audio. Twitter favours the written word. Instagram likes pictures. Facebook likes them both, especially when they’re promoting a crackpot conspiracy theory or two. But Clubhouse makes audio king, which means it makes conversation king. It’s as close to real-life interactions as you can get on a social media platform and there’s major value in this, for clients and entrepreneurs alike.

Opportunities with Clubhouse

My mind is already racing with different ways I can use this app to further my business and bring value to my clients and followers. As chats can be private or massively public, networking and collaborating are equally easy. Want to host a massive free-for-all conversation about your particular industry? You can. Need to chat with a collaborator one-on-one about a specific project? You can do that too, all from the same app. You can even hop into a discussion focused on another industry that you might not know anything about, but immediately get value out of hearing an expert in that field chat through their experiences. The possibilities are mind-blowing. I can’t imagine firing up this app and not being excited every time I get involved.

Unlike Instagram, which is often very reactive, Clubhouse is way more proactive, encouraging you to seek out topics and conversations which interest you, roll up your sleeves, and dive right in.

How Do You Get Invited to Clubhouse App?

As of right now, Clubhouse is an invite-only affair. This has done wonders for its reputation in the early stages, but as it grows and grows I expect it will become far more open, much like Facebook did with its trajectory. On top of being exclusive via invite, it’s also only available to iPhone users.

There are two ways to join Clubhouse right now; both require a personal relationship with someone who’s already on the app. First off, when a person joins the app, they’re automatically given one extra invitation that they can pass on to someone using their phone number. You can earn more invites the more time you spend on the app, but with that initial invite, they’re probably going to give it to a close friend as opposed to a business acquaintance.

The second option is to download the app now and reserve your username (I recommend you do this right away!). This won’t give you access to the club itself, but it will put you on a waiting list of sorts. If the app recognises that you have a few friends already on there, they might offer one of them the chance to ‘wave you through’, granting you access. Don’t worry; the app will almost definitely open up to everyone in time; it’s a very new platform and is essentially still in the testing stages, so this kind of ‘dam breaker’ is to be expected.

How Can Clubhouse Benefit My Business?

The first thing that springs to mind is, well, exclusivity. What do you need to do to get in a room with the richest person on the planet? With a Clubhouse invitation, you can hang out with Elon Musk (OK, OK, in a virtual room) without having to solve nuclear fission or gatecrash Tesla HQ. This is an extreme example but it gives you an idea as to the gigantic potential for connecting your business with the top dogs in your industry.

Think of it as a massive (virtual) building in which you can wander around and meet the type of people who can advance your business through advice, information, referrals, collaborations and recommendations. So kind of like a…clubhouse 🙂

Why is Clubhouse Good for Podcast Owners? 

Short-form content is great. So is one-way content. This blog allows me to write in as few (or as many) words exactly what’s on my mind and share it with my audience. But it’s also pretty limited in terms of actually engaging with my audience in an interactive and truly meaningful way.

The dialogue, the back and forth, the generation of new ideas that can only happen in live conversation – that’s what Clubhouse brings to the party. With ‘one-way’ communication, content creators are really only taking the temperature of their audience and cutting out content that they think will engage, inspire and connect. But in a conversation, you can go off on wild tangents, head on a deep dive on a subject that no one ever thought of before the chat and discover new things about the way you, your guest or your audience thinks about, well, everything!

If you are a fellow podcast host then Clubhouse is an awesome way to promote and grow your followership and brand. No one knows how insanely useful podcasts are more than me, but the space between episodes is, let’s face it, dead air. Clubhouse lets you interact with people between episodes in real time, so you can: 

  • Go deeper on subjects you’ve covered on your shows 
  • Discuss new ideas for future shows with the very people who will be listening to them (your audience)
  • Promote your show to a wider audience in other peoples ‘rooms’
  • Recruit interesting guests for upcoming interviews

How To Use Clubhouse For Networking

If you take your business on Clubhouse, you’ve got a whole new platform on which to make new connections, expand your network and get in contact with people who you simply would never meet in person…or who wouldn’t notice you on Twitter or Insta. Imagine meeting a life coach on Clubhouse and getting the opportunity to ask this business mentor a question that you’d usually have to pay thousands of bucks…for this type of access. (Elon, you’ve got my contact details: Clubhouse @jailong.)

How To Use Clubhouse For Collaborating

If you want to grow your business with Clubhouse then use it as a collaboration tool as well as a way to reach mentors and coaches. If someone’s made it into Clubhouse then they’re already at a certain level in their career, so your pool of contacts has already been filtered down to people who probably know how to achieve a decent level of success. These people will understand the benefit of cross-promotion on Clubhouse, so reach out and create a club or room together so that you can talk to each other’s audiences.

Growing Your Brand On Clubhouse

A business’s brand is arguably its most important asset and Clubhouse gives you the perfect platform on which to showcase your skills and knowledge. As I just mentioned, Clubhouse was built for deep dives – so if you want to connect with your audience on a deeper level (and maybe bust any limiting beliefs about hiring or collaborating with you) then start conversations that display just how much you know about your specialist subject. This will add so much value to your audience and will build trust in your brand amongst the people who will be talking about, sharing and potentially working with your brand.

How Can I Improve My Presence On Clubhouse?

The platform is in its very early stages but what I would recommend is putting a lot of thought into filling out your Clubhouse bio. This is going to decide whether most people connect with you…or don’t. Keep it short, impactful and to the point. Visitors should be able to scan your Clubhouse bio and know what you do within a second. Maybe two.

Create clubs! This is essential. We’ve talked about how the platform is interesting from a user perspective but from a business owner on Clubhouse, you want to be hosting a few parties. Create a club for your brand so that people can sign up and get to know what you’re all about on a more profound level.

How To Succeed On Clubhouse

OK, you’re through the door. The rush of getting past those (virtual) bouncers and into the main event is still with you, so harness that energy and start adding value to other members. Be consistent! Just like Google and most of the other tech giants with social platforms, Clubhouse values consistency. Show up at the same time each month/week/day and people will know when to find you, wherever you are in the world. Consistency is key to building a loyal following on Clubhouse.

Take advantage of the Clubhouse ping function, so if you’re confident that you have something valuable to talk about, ping your friends to invite them to join the room.


I don’t know about you guys, but hearing about new social media tools I can use to further my business gets me so excited! I can’t wait to get involved and start adding that extra layer of value to my clients and followers through Clubhouse. I hope you found this article helpful and more importantly, I hope you’re as stoked as I am!

Don’t forget to find me at Clubhouse!

When you login, you can find me by my username: @jailong

See you over there!


Clubhouse app with Jai Long
Morgan Vandermark

Our story so far – By Morgan Vandermark

It’s impossible to start our story without mentioning the person who brought us together. Who in a quest to chase his dream, died not long after. To us both, his last gift.


Dwight was Jai’s best mate & my cousin, who died on the other side of the globe racing sidecars in the deadliest race in the world.


June, 2016: Dwights Funeral

After an emotional funeral where my sister braved the audience with a speech & Jai and Leelou preformed a beautiful song. My mum, after a few drinks to send off Dwight, approached Jai without my knowledge to tell him that he has to give me a job. This is where the conversation began & a week later I started.

Dwight Beare

Dwight Beare.


It was Jai’s film photography that drew me into his work and is what I respected & loved so much. I was in ore of his photography. I remember showing my housemates when he would put up a new image; “How is this even possible?”.  I was desperate to learn from Jai. Apart from a love for film photography I really walked into Jai’s business a wee little pawn.

I started just watching. Soaking up everything that was in front of me. Editing, slideshows, album design, branding, marketing, photography. It all started small, with me asking question after question & taking way longer than you think Jai & Leelou would have the patience for. I had a spark for all things creative & our conversations always ended in great bursts of inspiration.

I’m always asked what it’s like to work under Jai so here it goes… Mayhem.

Jai has a unique perspective on all aspects of work, business & creativity. It’s an idea to action in the same breath. If it’s a good idea then “yep, get the gear, let’s do it now”. There is no dwelling on ideas or trying to ‘figure it out’. It’s just getting into it.

Jai doesn’t look at outside influence as something to peg your own abilities against. He only looks at what we create as a business & pegs it against our last work. Which is constantly improving. This view of Jai’s is insane and I believe why he is so profound at creating impact in all he does. His ability to only focus on our tasks at hand and what we are doing allows him to experience little to no doubt with more triumph as we celebrate in everything we create.

But, it’s not always cheersing a pint down at the local bar…

Sometimes it feels as though you are constantly being thrown in deep end; where if you stand on your tippy-toes & crank your neck to 90 degrees, you can just get enough air to move on with the task at hand. As soon as manage to tiptoe to a comfortable position I am ripped out into deeper water.

October, 2020: Phone call from Jai (Midway through Covid 19 lockdown)

Jai: Hey man, I want to make the biggest wedding photography summit in the world with the best speakers America has to offer.. I want you to run the whole thing. Are you up for it?

Me: Far out… Sounds incredible. Yes, let’s do it.


November, 2020 4:00 am : Summit Day 

Walking up the stairs of the building where we are broadcasting the summit. A team of four. No idea if all the planning would pull off and I really was ‘up for it’. Hearts pounding, using gear I have only tested a handful of times in a situation we have never experienced. Completely in-charge of tech, camera’s, audio, DJ, lights, internet and streaming to over 8000 people from around the world. ‘One minute until live’. Jai’s doing push up’s to up the energy & shake out the 4am feels. I am running over every situation that could go wrong with doubt creeping in. What if the internet cuts out, streaming platform has been set up incorrectly, audio sounds horrible, and on…

3…2…1… LIVE

Jai’s talking, but can people see him? hear him?

Chatbox opens and is going at a rate I can barely read. 2,000 people live. No one mentions an issue. Everything is working. (Exhales)… Thank fuck.

Our story so far has been one of growth, friendship, success & failure. From business to business, task to task. We have adapted & changed through anything in our way. My rolls are forever changing and adapting as our business grows and we aim higher taking on more complex tasks.

Through Heartbreak Hotel I helped Jai bring a business from paper to reality, from no work to booming, and from owning to selling, all in the space of four years.

Now, after almost 5 years after starting to work for Jai, I shoot all our video & photography content, edit everything, run our online workshops/summits, design, copywriting, directing & work alongside Jai in all aspects of the business.  Thanks to this wealth of knowledge I have attained from working under Jai I have also shot weddings, both photo & video, under my own name.

Every day I am excited to walk into work not knowing what crazy idea we will come up with & execute not long after. Jai & myself work together extremely well. We disagree rarely and when we do it’s usually on what we can do to make a thing we are creating as amazing as they can be. Even then we are able to sit back & listen to the other person, ready to be convinced and for our ideas & perspectives to merge into one complete super power.

I’m proud of all the things I have learned & overcome whilst working for Jai and I’m ready to say yes to whatever insane idea pops up next.


To work in this company alongside both Jai & Leelou is incredible.  Or as Dwight would say “living the dream”.

I hope you enjoyed a peak behind the curtains.

Morgan x



Working with Jai & Leelou at a shared studio in Cremorne, 2016. 

Morgan Vandermark and Jai Long

First time out shooting film with Jai + a model, 2017. 

Morgan Vandermark on film

Moved to a bigger shared studio in Collingwood, 2018.

Morgan Vandermark with Jai Long

Moved into our very own studio, 2019.

Morgan Vandermark

Preparing for the Summit, 2020.

Celebrating a successful summit, 2020.



I believe that what we put out to the world creates our own reality. Even in trying times like now, with COVID-19 dominating our lives, how we react to the pandemic will define our existence.  Someone who has really adopted that optimistic mindset is Justine Missen, a student of mine from my six-figure business map course. So today I’ve invited Justine on to the show, to have a little chat about her experience with both the business map course and her own entrepreneurship.

Listen to the full episode on the Make Your Break Podcast.

Starting Out

Building a six-figure wedding photography business is no small feat. While Justine Missen has only been in business for two years, and she’s already making massive strides towards her goals. After she had her first child in 2017, Justine was trying to figure out what to do with her career, after feeling her current job left her unfulfilled. She didn’t know how to use a camera at that stage, but she borrowed her husband’s camera and started snapping shots of friends and her new baby.

After a couple of friends asked Justine to shoot their weddings, she committed totally to photography and fell in love with the craft. She didn’t have a background in business or photography, so she had to learn a lot in a short space of time. Fortunately, she was extremely dedicated and worked hard.

Justine Missen Photography

Overcoming the Fear of Failure

Justine said there were times in the beginning where things were pretty scary, and the fear of failure loomed large. She was very conscious of how people perceived her, especially after having a baby. But she soon put that negativity out of her mind and followed her dream. She worked a lot on her mindset, which helped negate the fear of failure. I know for myself, I have to work daily on my mindset, training my habits and thoughts. Justine has only been practising this for a couple of years, but says she feels like a totally different person.

Identifying Opportunities

Justine listened a lot to me and other creative entrepreneurs when the coronavirus hit; instead of getting depressed over the state of the industry like many of our peers, she began to see opportunities instead. I was interested to see how Justine believed in herself enough to listen to the message that I was putting out. She thinks it hit her at the right time. Before COVID-19 hit, the work diary for Justine Missen Photos was full for 2020. While she did initially feel put out by the way the year turned out, she soon realised it was an opportunity to listen to people who were making the most of the situation. My message came along at the right time. The end result is that her Justine Missen Photos business has grown beyond her wildest expectations this year. She’s now in a position that she didn’t expect to be in for another three or five years.

I know for myself, when coronavirus hit, I was already expecting some form of recession in 2020. I had one or two days of self-pity in March, but then I snapped out of it and started looking at the opportunities it presented.

Justine Missen Photography

Celebrate Your Wins

If you want to build a six-figure wedding photography business, having a community behind you that supports your work is key. Lifting each other up is a major game changer. Justine agrees; she used to feel like she was being arrogant when she talked about things she was doing well, but now she’s excited to share her experiences online and maybe inspire someone else in the same position. It can be hard to find this kind of community, but once you do, everything clicks into place. It’s so important for our growth to celebrate our wins. They don’t just come out of nowhere, they are the result of tons of hard work and graft. They deserve to be shared and celebrated,

Booking Her Biggest Package So Far

Justine Meissen Photos recently booked their biggest package ever and I was interested to know how Justine felt about it. She said that while she strives to be valuable to all her clients, she realised that she was selling herself a bit short in some areas. She used to have a standard package, but decided to offer her clients more options. This is one of the key steps I talk about when it comes to building a six-figure wedding photography business. People like to go shopping. When Justine’s clients booked that top package, they expressed how pleased they were that it contained everything they needed. People aren’t always looking for the cheapest option. They want the most value for their money.

Invest in Yourself Too

Investing money in yourself is important. You need to check your ego at the door and listen and learn from people who know better than you. This is one of best shortcuts to building a six-figure wedding photography business. Yes, your photos have to be great, but so does your website. So does your copy. Justine is rebranding next month and overhauling her site; this time last year she would have been terrified to spend money on something like that, but now she sees the inherent value in it.

Connecting with People

Connecting with other people is so important. As a photographer and an educator, it’s one of the most important things for me. The more you share, the more you relate to people, the more people will love and believe in what you do. They’ll want to invest in you, your ideas and your business. I love connecting and providing value to people; I don’t love business in the abstract. Justine feels the same. For the first time ever she has people paying in full, because they’re aware times might be tough right now. She feels this is a result of giving up her time for people, and it makes her more inclined to keep giving. She tries to always be there for people, connecting with them and adding value to them.

My brother-in-law Kyle Lionheart is a pretty famous musician. I was doing a few mentoring sessions with him, and advised him to bring as much value as possible to his live shows. Even as a musician, you have to treat it like a business. How do you create the most value for people? Once you offer that, people won’t care what they pay you; they’ll be grateful for the experience. Justine never liked talking about money before, but now it’s one of her favourite subjects. Whenever anyone pays off an instalment or a deposit, she makes sure to thank them. Even little gestures like this can foster connection and add value to an experience.

Justine Missen Photography

Balancing Family and Work

Justine Missen photos is well on its way to becoming a six-figure wedding photography business, but I was interested in what Justine thought was holding her back right now. What is her ceiling? For myself, I’m always trying to work out what the next step is. Justine says she’s not so sure; she’s interested in scaling her business and taking it as far as it can go. Justine feels like she’s the next step, because her life is so hectic. She has outsourced a lot of the things that don’t work for her schedule, but it’s always a balance. Involving her family in her business is very important for her. At the moment, Justine spends just six hours a week on her business, and she’s already within reach of six figures. She feels like she’s already there, which is the key to an abundant mindset.

I understand exactly what Justine’s talking about. I’ve made plenty of sacrifices over the past few years; although my business makes a lot of money, I pump it straight back in. But despite that, I live like I am rich because I know I will be one day. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s a matter of ‘when’. When you have that mentality, the growth keeps stacking up. I have to commend Justine, because there’s not many people within year two of their business who have that mindset. The minute you live and breath the life that you want, it will come. That may sound airy-fairy, but it’s the truth.

I personally don’t believe in saving money. You’re sacrificing your lifestyle in the now. My philosophy is f**k saving. Work out how to make the money for what you want. I don’t want to put in my mind that I can’t afford things or I don’t deserve it. Justine agrees with this. Even if she doesn’t have the money for something she wants, she’ll find it somehow. She doesn’t deny herself or her business anything and it feels like money is a by-product of her following her passion. That’s the exact space you need to be in as a creative entrepreneur.

Justine’s last piece of advice is to not get in your head too much about things. When you can see someone who can help you, don’t let fear hold you back. Go for it.  If it feels right, do it.

I want to thank Justine so much for coming on the podcast today. If you’d like to check out more of her work or get in touch with her, check out her website Justine Missen Photos or her Instagram.

Thanks so much for taking the time to listen, guys! Catch you next episode.

Episode Sponsor

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Justine Missen Photography

Hey guys and welcome to another episode of Make Your Break! Today I’m thrilled to be talking to Western Australia wedding photographer James Simmons. He’s an incredible artist with many awards to his name; our paths have crossed before at workshops, but I can’t wait to talk to him in-depth on the podcast!

How James Simmons Made his Break

James got interested in photography when he was living (and surfing) down in the South-West. He took a lot of shots of friends out on the waves and the competitive nature of capturing the best shot hooked him. His mother was also a photography teacher, so he was familiar with the process and intrigued by the magic of the dark room.

Unfortunately, James made the wrong kind of break when he snapped his arm in two while surfing. While in rehab, he couldn’t do manual labour, so he went back to college and studied film and photography. He cut his teeth with an apprenticeship at a wedding portrait studio. It was here that he started to figure out what he liked and didn’t like about photography; he combined the arts-based approach from Uni with the more commercially driven angle he picked up at the studio.

Going Solo

He spent five years in the studio while psyching himself up for a solo career as a wedding photographer. He started booking his own gigs and eventually took off on his own, utilising all the knowledge he’d picked up.

James found that the most exciting part of setting up his business was the branding and strategy side. For me, I’ve started so many businesses and I agree with James; the first two years are always the most exhilarating. You have to be able to have fun with that kind of stuff, otherwise fear will stop you doing anything.

Getting Creative Through Playing

I’m friends with some of the best wedding photographers in the world, and I’ve found that everyone at that level doesn’t mind failing. They treat their careers almost like a game, allowing themselves to get creative and playing with their work. James agrees that this is an important thing to do in order to drive creativity. You have to let your imagination run wild. That’s the point where we start to get curious and interested in asking questions. You can’t reach this level without a fair bit of acceptance of failure. You have to keep it fun.

When you’re having a good time, you don’t worry about things so much. You’re freer in the moment and happy to be part of the process. You’re not concerned with the ultimate result, you enjoy the craft moment-to-moment. On a wedding, there can be stressful moments when you have to capture something crucial, of course. But overall, James thinks that allowing yourself to play leaves you open to more options and unique results.

James Simmons Photography

Turning Weaknesses into Strengths

A lot of people always ask me how I learned to do certain things, but I’m always playing with things; I don’t do it unless it’s fun. I only do what’s fun in both business and wedding photography. When it comes to wedding photography James Simmons agrees. You’ve got to accentuate the positive parts of the job and find shortcuts through the things you don’t enjoy. For example, when he started out, James only had one 50mm prime lens. While that might seem like a restriction, James turned it into a strength by getting creative with it. Even though he now has a wide choice of lenses, he still finds himself going back to the 50mm for a large majority of his work.

I love that James describes this as taking away the complication. I often find that business owners over-complicate things unnecessarily. But what people don’t realise is that I love restrictions. The more that I put myself in a small box, the more creative I become. This applies to both my photography and my business. James thinks that simplifying things is the key. Just the other week, James got together with a few friends, hung out and took some shots with whatever gear they had to hand. He really enjoyed having that freedom.

James Simmons Photography

Tips on Getting More Creative

I wondered if James had any tips on how to get more creative. For myself, I find that giving myself the space to think helps me come up with new ideas. The less that I do, the more I think. But if I’m working all the time, I don’t have the required space to make the impact I want to make. James finds that he’s struggled to pursue an idea because he wanted it to ‘mean something’. But he realised recently that you just have to start. The creativity comes from the process. As you start working, a lot of those concepts manifest themselves naturally.

I think that’s so true. As soon as I get to work, ideas come and things just happen. There’s no point waiting for creativity to strike, as it won’t happen every day. You’ve just got to get on with it and allow yourself to be open to inspiration and ideas as you move through the process. James thinks the same is true for business; once he gets started on the task, it can spur on other ideas. I also think that it’s important to hang out with people on the same wavelength as you. I just did a mentor session with a family photographer; at the end of it I was amazed at the amount of ideas we both came up with together that we would never have come up with on our own.

James Simmons Photography

Clearing Your Mind

Giving yourself the space to reset your mind is crucial for both your business and your craft. I’ve found that the more time I’ve taken off, the more money I’ve made and the more people I’ve impacted. Even during this pandemic, I’ve made more money and connected with more people than I ever have in my life. James agrees and thinks it’s important to get that kind of clarity about your business and life in general. I take an hour walk everyday to try and organise my thoughts. I’m such a big believer in taking the time to focus on your thoughts and unlocking the potential to get what you want. It’s all in there; you just have to organise it the right way.

Future Plans

I remember James once told me he’d like to start  his own James Simmons brewery some day. As he mentioned an upcoming photography project with a brewery, I thought I’d ask if he was still keeping the dream alive. He could easily transfer the entrepreneurial skills he’s learnt over the years to another business. James would never say never, but he views brewing (and drinking) beer as more of a hobby at this stage. He thinks he needs the right contacts before launching that kind of business, but he loves doing it as a hobby.

Starting over in another business is scary, just as starting in the photography business was scary at the beginning. But once you educate yourself and figure out all the details, it becomes a lot less intimidating. At the moment, James is still pushing his photography business as far as it can go. In this pandemic downtime he’s focusing on revamping his James Simmons wedding photography branding and creating more content. He wants to create a website that can add value for clients, offering them info and tips around weddings. He’s also keeping a close eye on how the wedding industry is evolving during the course of the pandemic, and how that might play out into the future. For example, as weddings get smaller, photographers might have to shoot two or three weddings on a weekend as opposed to one big one.

Even though the landscape is changing, you just have to figure out how to add value and be the first to do it. In the end, it’s all playing; you have to figure out how to make the best of the situation instead of dwelling on the negatives.

I want to say a huge thank you to James Simmons for coming on the podcast and chatting with me. If you’re interested in seeing more of James’ work or want to ask him any questions, you can check out his website, Instagram and Facebook.

Thank you so much for listening guys; please take the time to leave a review if you enjoyed this podcast, I’d really appreciate it. I’ll see you next episode!

Episode Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by the guys over at PepperStorm, an awesome copywriting team who I have used across all my businesses for years. If you need some killer copywriting, get in touch and use the code: MAKEYOURBREAK to get $100 off when you buy one of their packages.


James Simmons Photography

My goals are always centred around growth – both personally and professionally. Because of this, I’ve wanted to have a business coach on the show for a while now. That’s I was really excited to get the chance to chat with Kaylene Langford from Startup Creative in Melbourne. She runs a successful coaching agency that reaches clients through her podcast, online courses, in-person workshops, and a print magazine. She’s all about getting people to start living their best lives, so I thought it’d be cool to get some inside info on coaching as well as have actually her do a little coaching for me during the podcast.


I’m a firm believer that the experiences you’ve had in the past help to shape your current position in life. Kay started out as a youth worker who developed programs to engage at-risk boys. The skills she learned when she first started out (like taking something that’s dry or boring and delivering it in a creative way that actually engages people) has become influential in her current career. She also realised through spending some time working in government that she needed to stick with a job that allowed her to be creative and to bust out of the nine-to-five mold. My own background has also had a strong influence on my life’s journey. I grew up with not a lot of money, getting handouts and vouchers in order to get by. I couldn’t read or write well until after high school. I had to be creative so that I could sort of fake it ’til I made it. Growing up like this taught me to take risks, since I’ve always had everything to gain and nothing to lose. I opened my first business at 20, was bankrupt at 21, and learned that money comes and goes, but I can always grow (which I’ve taken with me into my later business endeavours).

Startup Creative


Fear can hold us back from so much in our lives – but especially from succeeding in the business world. Kay suggests trying to step back and observe your fear as if it was happiness and to remember that fear is just a moment in time. Although it’s uncomfortable and can activate physical sensations in our bodies, if you can try not to take it so seriously and to just observe it, you can actually master the feeling. Instead of going into a full fight-or-flight response every time you’re scared, you can ask yourself what’s the worst thing that can happen. Being detached from your fear and looking at it from an outside perspective can make us less attached to the outcome. You can go through ups and downs and not become completely destroyed by the lows, allowing you to stop your fear from holding you back.



A business coach is someone you pay for their time, their network, and their expertise. Through them, you can get help to make a plan that will allow you to achieve your career goals. To find the right coach for you, start with someone you vibe with or someone who inspires you. Do your research and jump on a phone call with potential coaches to see if they’re the right fit for you before you go deeper into the process. The right coach can help you build a business that’s an extension of yourself and can get you out of places in your career that feel stagnant and stale. An effective coach can also teach you some valuable shortcuts so that you’re only spending time on the parts of your business that you really want to develop. It might help to look at a business coach as an investment – these people can serve as educators that can help you figure out what works and what doesn’t in your career.

Startup Creative


I’ve found that one of my main hang-ups is that I’m stuck in my past – like deep down I still feel like I’m just a person who came from an underprivileged background. Because of how I grew up, I often wonder if I’m limiting myself to what the people around me could achieve when I was younger. What if I can’t imagine a brighter future because it’s something that I haven’t seen? Kay offered me a solution – literally changing the way my brain works. As the saying goes, “Neural pathways that fire together, wire together.” Instead of getting stuck in familiar loops, we should actually determine what’s truly possible for ourselves. She suggests getting in a meditative state where your unconscious mind can imagine unlimited possibilities. If you can feel in your body what your dreams would elicit in you then the brain starts to make new neural pathways. This can allow you to dream bigger because you’ll have the vibrational energy inside you and you’ll then be able to start attracting those positive experiences.

One way you can do this is by doing a guided meditation every day. If this doesn’t appeal to you, Kay also recommends writing out what a day in the life of you would be like five years from now. You can allow yourself to fully dream that anything is possible. Write in the present tense with all of the emotions and feelings you can muster. Then every morning when you wake up, you can conjure up those feelings and fully imagine that life for yourself. The goal is to start putting out those vibrations so that your brain is pulled more towards achieving those dreams.


For some people, their goals might be about reaching more Instagram followers or on making their first million dollars. For me, it’s different. I want to make more money so that I can reach more people and give more people a better life. Kay reminded me that there’s a belief that if you can dream it, it’s already in your path. People lose sight of their true goals or they can fail with their current goals because of limiting beliefs they have. If you stay focused on your purpose, you can more easily achieve your goals. Ten years ago, there’s no way that I could have imagined where I am today – so I think if I keep visualising my goals and looking inwards for my purpose, I’ll be better able to unlock my own potential and get rid of whatever’s holding me back.


You can fully achieve your goals if you find a business coach that encourages you to pursue your true purpose. Look for a coach who is in the next level of where you want to go so that you can actually see someone achieving what you’re after. Dream big by making a list of these types of people, so you can use them for inspiration. If you want your dream badly enough, freedom exists for you to accomplish it. Kay’s company, Startup Creative, exists to free people from lives that no longer serve them. She and I both agree that it’s totally possible for everyone to create the life of their dreams.


For more inspiration, head to Kay’s Facebook or follow her on Instagram at @StartupCreative. Don’t forget to check out her podcast on iTunes or Spotify or head to her website for more information about her online courses and print magazine. You can also email her directly with questions at


Tune in next time for a chance to listen to more amazing guests like Kay!



I’ve got live workshops coming up in New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne, and Sydney – there are still tickets left and I’d love to meet you in person and help take your business to the next level.



Episode Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by the guys over at PepperStorm, an awesome copywriting team who I have used across all my businesses for years. If you need some killer copywriting, get in touch and use the code: MAKEYOURBREAK to get $100 off when you buy one of their packages.


Startup Creative with Jai Long
Building a community with Jessy and Perry

I’ve become a huge fan of Jessy and Perry from Rhodes Wedding Co. in the US. They’ve created a truly impressive company where they make handcrafted wedding bands and engagement rings. They’ve somehow also managed to establish the perfect combination of creative output along with a beautifully connected community. So, I wanted to chat with them about how they’ve been able to build this special kind of tight-knit community with such true intention and passion.

How to build a business that you actually love

One of the most important steps you can take to create a business that you absolutely love is to figure out what you’re passionate about. Don’t just tolerate specific aspects of your business – instead, discover the tasks that you actually love and focus on those. It’s easy for me to stay creative and motivated with my work because I do truly love every task I do – and the ones I don’t, I delegate to someone else! You can also get rid of tasks you hate by asking yourself, “Is this really adding to my community and my mission?” It’s okay to toss out things that aren’t working for you or that don’t play to your strengths. 

Building A Community With Jessy And Perry

Photo by: katchsilva

When it’s not about the numbers

It’s so easy for people today to get caught up in the numbers game. Whether you’re focusing on how much money you’re making or the number of Instagram likes you’re getting, it can be hard to put your attention anywhere else. However, I’ve found that if you’re creating something with good intent and heart, people will see that and the rest will follow. People will flock towards authenticity. Jessy and Perry created their company from a passion project that has since flourished into a successful business. Their creative outlet expanded because they decided to focus on making a living doing something they actually love and are passionate about instead of how much money they could potentially make. It can also be helpful to become a ‘giver’ – a person who makes an effort to give back to their community (to clients, colleagues, customers, etc.). If you think about how to give back, you’ll get so much more in return and you won’t be as obsessed with those other numbers. Your relationships and your success can grow from there.

Building A Community With Jessy And Perry

Photo by: Phil Chester

Using creativity in your business

As a creative person, I’m always bringing my creativity into my business. Jessy also noted that she can bring creativity into almost every task she does. With her social media outreach, she’s creating relationships and fostering connections with people in their community. These communications lead to the creation of their products – actual, tangible pieces of art that were inspired by that person’s story. Relationships within the community are also like a creative dance with another person since they lead to creative output. Working with a limited number of clients with a focus on clear communication and developing a deeper insight into the relationship allows them to craft unique pieces that resonate with their clients and the community as a whole. I totally agree with this perspective – I can feed my creativity doing any task (from looking after clients to marketing). Creativity doesn’t have to stick to a specific, traditional definition (me photographing something or playing the guitar or drawing a picture), it’s really just problem-solving with a new idea or bringing in a fresh perspective that can get my juices flowing.

Building A Community With Jessy And Perry

Photo by: Nirav Patel

How to foster relationships in the community

Along the same lines, this creativity can lead to strong relationships within your community. In order to do this, it helps to be open and genuine about your own life. It can be incredibly rewarding to create an open line of communication with your customers. People weighing in with offers of support or by sharing their stories creates valuable relationships (even with strangers you’re just interacting with on Instagram). If you put yourself out there in a vulnerable way, you might be surprised by how much you’re positively influenced by these interactions. I’ve had fans reach out that have been following me for years, and their support means so much. Even just an email from someone sharing their story really makes all of the hard work worth it because you’re building something real with other people.


When it’s not all about the gram

As I mentioned already, it can be really tempting to get drawn into the obsession with Instagram. For some people, getting more likes and more followers is the ultimate goal for their business. However, for people like me and Jessy and Perry, Instagram can be an effective tool that doesn’t have to be used solely for numbers. Jessy notes that she spends around 20 to 25 hours a week on Instagram, connecting with new followers and commenting on posts to boost engagement. This isn’t about increasing likes though; it’s more about putting the time and effort in so that their customers notice the dedication they have to the community. Perry said it did feel like a burden at first to interact with Instagram on such an intense level every week, but then it felt more worthwhile once they were both able to experience a perspective shift. They realised that Instagram could be used as much more of a community-building tool for them and a way to effectively connect with the right people and form long-term relationships. I can definitely feel this goal when I look at their Instagram – it’s carefully curated and shows them being unapologetically themselves.

I’ve also found that I don’t have to get hung up on how many likes my posts are getting because I can be confident in my own work. A lack of likes doesn’t mean I’m not worth it; it could mean I need to work harder or set different goals, or it could mean that people just don’t get my work. I respect their opinion, but at the end of the day, I make my art for myself and not for other people. So, a less successful Instagram post won’t necessarily make me feel insecure or bummed out.

Rhodes Wedding Rings

Setting new goals for social media

Since I don’t want to get myself down about low numbers on Instagram, it helps to make new goals for myself that feel more true to my own intentions. I do know what the Gram will like, but like Jessy and Perry, we’d rather do something that will resonate with others rather than just post something that would receive a less meaningful mass appeal. And if you’re not being true to yourself, what’s the point? To fail at what you don’t even love is tragic, but to fail at what you love, that experience can still have a lot of worth to it. So, my goal for social media often means that I need to keep reinventing myself. I want to keep being true to what I love and to always be growing. If this is a goal for you too, try asking yourself, “How else can I push myself?” This question can open up a brand new avenue both for expression and for success. 

Building A Community With Jessy And Perry

Photo by: Nirav Patel

What do you find rewarding?

You can build a really strong community by determining what you find valuable. Basically, you shouldn’t feel ashamed if your goal is not based on likes and followers, but rather on something more substantial like strong relationships or giving back to others. Sometimes this path might be a little harder (with not as much instant gratification or validation), but it can also lead to a long-lasting career with engaged community members who will be there for you throughout your journey no matter what. Holding onto goals that don’t feel genuinely rewarding to you will end up meaning you’ll attract the wrong people anyway. It’s always better to be true to yourself and what matters to you than to be fake.

Photo by: Nirav Patel

I had such an amazing time talking with Jessy and Perry. I’m seriously inspired by their goal to push themselves to aspire to limitless growth as well as by their success at building a community that blends perfectly with their business goals. 

Make sure to follow them on Insta @rhodesweddingco and check out Jessy’s website for info about their upcoming projects. 


Cheers guys, I’ll see you for the next podcast when I’ll be sharing more stories from awesome guests like Jessy and Perry!



I’ve got live workshops coming up in New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne, and Sydney – there are still tickets left and I’d love to meet you in person and help take your business to the next level.



Episode Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by the guys over at PepperStorm, an awesome copywriting team who I have used across all my businesses for years. If you need some killer copywriting, get in touch and use the code: MAKEYOURBREAK to get $100 off when you buy one of their packages.


OK guys, if you’re listening to this podcast on the day that it drops, we’re coming up to the end of 2019. What a year it’s been! Whether it’s been a great one or a bit of a struggle, it’s so important to take the time to look back and reflect on what you’ve achieved, the lessons that you’ve learned and how you can use this experience to make 2020 even more productive and enjoyable for you and your business.

I set a lot of goals for 2019. Some of them I achieved, some I didn’t. But I worked as hard as I could and did my best, so I’m feeling pretty happy. That’s why I thought I’d pull back the curtain and give you guys some real insight into my business. I put a heavy emphasis on transparency, so you can learn the good, the bad (even the ugly!) about how everything is going.

My three businesses

First up, let’s take a quick overview of my businesses.

Free The Bird

I work as a wedding photographer and we have one full-time employee, Morgan, and myself, plus contractors, including a copywriter, bookkeeper, accountant, etc.

It’s a client-centric business and I have around 100 clients at any given time; that’s 50 couples who have booked with me to shoot their wedding. This requires a lot of work with and plenty of communication.


Heartbreak Hotel

We have a photobooth & DJ business that has 5 employees plus myself. We also have around 100 clients on the books and we cater to weddings, parties and corporate events.

~ Pictured below, Some of our staff from all three businesses

Jai Long

This business covers all of the educational content I put out, including online courses, live workshops, eBooks, workshops and the podcast that you’re listening to! We have 3 full-time employees and me, as well as contractors to help with facebook ads, design, coding etc.


So at any given time, I have around 200 clients. That’s a lot. And that’s not including the people that I serve, including the thousands – just like you – that listen to my podcast. This is why it’s so important for me to take a few months off every year and come back rejuvenated and prepared to best serve everyone who interacts with my business.


What worked (and didn’t work) in 2019?

So with these three businesses, I set goals (broken down into 90-day, 30-day and then everyday segments) to achieve in 2019.


Free The Bird

In 2018 I shot some amazing weddings all over the world, including Africa, Norway, the US, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity. However, this year I wanted to work closer to home. So I booked all jobs in a 10km radius of my house (fortunately, I get enough enquiries that I can pick and choose). This turned out to be a really cool year, as I enjoyed the lack of commute and building relationships with local businesses. Also, you make more money when you don’t travel – even when you get your travel paid for, you don’t get paid for the extra days it takes for you to get to a destination. So it’s been a win-win on that front and I’m really happy with how it went.

Heartbreak Hotel DJ

Heartbreak Hotel

I set out a goal to double Heartbreak Hotel. To do this, I thought ‘why not add DJs to the business?’ I saw a gap in the market, as I’ve worked a lot of high-end weddings who put so much attention to detail to everything except the DJ, who usually turns up with a black trestle table, cords everywhere, playing Backstreet Boys. Not a great look.

What if we got a great DJ with cool turntables, isn’t cheesy, doesn’t play terrible music, etc.? Amazingly, no one else was doing that! So I interviewed DJs, found an amazing one (Reggie) and set about building the website, rebranding and redesigning the business.

How did it go? Well, we just did gigs for Nike and Google and have five weddings booked this weekend. We are now on track to double the business and, honestly, it feels incredible to have a goal and see it come to life.


Jai Long

OK, so before you think that I’m just going to tell you about all the great stuff that happened to me in 2019…check this out.

I wanted to set up a new workshop for creative entrepreneurs that covered everything that you need for levelling up your business, including how to hire people, do the admin, pay super, arrange tax breaks, etc. How useful, right?!

Well, yeah. I launched workshops in five different locations and sold….drum roll please…one ticket.

I’ve been running sold-out workshops since 2015. How did this happen?! I was totally deflated. The problem is, no one has ever done this before. It’s so hard to be a pioneer rather than just improve on a tried-and-tested formula. You need to educate people and explain why they need what you’re offering.

I learned so much from this experience and implemented so many changes. It’s why I changed the name from Free The Bird workshop to Jai Long workshop, why I started employing people (including the AWESOME  Zoe, my project manager) and basically changed my whole organisation. I decided to reinvent my whole business, build it properly with good foundations and take the long road to where it needs to be.

Jai Long

Trust in my brand

I wanted people to trust in my brand (see previous episodes with Danelle and LeeLou on why this is so important). Even though I sold out my workshop, I didn’t have the time to deliver the best customer experience. Now we can take the time to curate the ultimate customer journey, from buying a ticket straight through to aftercare package. I want to make sure that I’m giving my customers more than they’re giving me.


Album Academy

We launched the Album Academy online course and, after an admittedly slow start, it sold really well and made a big impact on the photography community that I’m a part of; it’s amazing to get online feedback saying that a product that you’ve made has helped one of your peers.



And finally, the New York-based wedding & portrait photography print magazine RangeFinder has got in touch with me and asked me to contribute regular articles for them! This is such an honour, especially because I didn’t have much education and was never great at reading and writing. I never want to be egotistical on this show but sometimes it’s really important to congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come, so I’m going to practice what I preach!


You guys!

Now I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has listened to these podcasts and allowed me to indulge in these stories about my career – and I want you to do the same. Looking forward is amazing but always know where you came from. Appreciate where you are now, compared with where you were a year, or five years ago and harness this energy when moving forward into 2020.

make 2020 even more productive


I’ve got live workshops coming up in  New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne, and Sydney – there are still tickets left and I’d love to meet you in person and help take your business to the next level.


I’ll be talking to you all again in 2020 – have a fantastic holiday season and a fun-filled new year!


Episode Sponsor

This episode is brought to you by the guys over at PepperStorm, an awesome copywriting team who I have used across all my businesses for years. If you need some killer copywriting, get in touch and use the code: MAKEYOURBREAK to get $100 off when you buy one of their packages.



Jai Long

In this episode of ‘Make Your Break’, Jarrad Seng shares with us how his career got started and some of his career highlights. Then myself & Jarrad dive into a quick mastermind to talk about ways you can either identify an opportunity or create an opportunity from a situation. I think it is inspiring to hear from people like Jarrad, just how he has created his career into what it is today.


Jarrad Seng Podcast

My highlight from this conversation is when Jarrad is telling us about a story from a few months ago, drinking with Ed Sheeren for his birthday at Pizza Hut and buying a house on a whim over the internet in the early hours of the morning. It sounds like such a typical rockstar story!
Here are the 5 different stories Jarred and I cover in regards to creating or identifying an opportunity:


  • “Fake it till you make it”. A story from Jarred about how Adobe contacted him to be a Lightroom expert and how he navigated around the opportunity
  •  “Opening a door”. I talk about how I sold my car to invest in my business and used the money to create a portfolio of work
  • “Get yourself in the room”. Jarred tells us about how he got on to the TV show, Survivor.
  • “Turning a disaster into an opportunity” Jarred smashed his friend’s camera and got a job working with Canon as a result.
  • “Doing what you love, no matter the cost”. We both talk about shooting for free and not letting rules stop us from achieving what we want.



My online course ‘Album Academy’ is about to drop. So if you would love to start designing and selling albums, this course is going to be a game-changer. To get started, you can download the free tip guide and join the waiting list.

If you would like to internet creep Jarrad, check out his Instagram here. I also suggest googling his name and watching some of the funny things he has been up to over the last few years.




Jarrad Seng and Jai Long

In this episode, we dive into something I think is very important to any business: Up-selling and add-ons. A good add-on will bring extra revenue into your business, which is important because you need to make your business as profitable as possible so you can continue to grow and provide the service your clients love. I talk about eight tips to help you start up-selling and creating add-ons and no matter what industry you are in or what you decide your add-on will be, this episode will really help you.

I have also put together a workbook for this episode so if you would like to download the workbook and follow along…


Now, before we get started, I want to mention I have just put together my first ever online course called the Album Academy. It is a complete 4 step course from designing wedding albums, how to sell albums and how to make your workflow super fast. This course is available from the 4th of November for 2 weeks only.  If you are a wedding photographer and want to make extra money in your business, speed up your workflow and better serve your clients, this course is a game-changer.

To find out more about the course THE ALBUM ACADEMY

So let’s not waste any time and dive straight in.

What is the difference between upselling and add-ons, also known as cross-selling?

Upselling is encouraging the purchase of anything that would make the primary product more expensive. For instance, A wedding package that now includes a wedding album. Or buying a camera and having the option to have a memory card, battery and camera strap.

Cross-selling is the suggestion of any other product to be purchased in conjunction with the primary product —

Buying a microphone? Maybe you need a microphone stand.
Buying a plant, Maybe you need a new pot. Or some fertiliser.

I call Add-ons, cross-selling because It is an add-on that is relevant to the client’s purchase.

Ok, we all know what they are, let’s talk about the why.
The most obvious reason is to make extra revenue for each sale. We want to do that for two different reasons. One, because we need to make as much revenue as possible so we can create a better service and just keep our doors open for longer. Did you know it is much cheaper to sell to an existing client then it is to get a new client? You have already paid for the ads, you have already put the leg work into marketing and you have already converted your client into a fan.

It is expensive and time consuming to gain an extra client. The second is because we want to better serve our clients.

That’s right, most people don’t associate upselling with serving clients but today I am going to see if I can change your mindset on selling.

Here is the thing. Your clients love you and what you do. They probably wouldn’t have hired you otherwise. So that is a pretty safe bet. They respect you as a professional and they value your professional opinion. So with an upsell of a larger package, if you are anything like me, I wouldn’t upsell a large package to anything that I don’t think would benefit from it.

For instance, if I get a wedding client asking about my photography packages and which one they should book. I ask them about the wedding and what they need. If they are having a small wedding with 40 guests and its all in the one location, I won’t be trying to upsell them a big package because they don’t need it. I will advise them on my smallest coverage and tell them exactly what they need and how we can make it work.

If I have a client with 100’s of guests and a very complex wedding, I will be advising my biggest package plus the extras that I believe will help them make their wedding day easier and what will be more cost-effective. If they want a wedding album, I let them know that it is much cheaper if they just choose my biggest package with that included and its better value for money.

Your clients trust you because you have earned it. So my biggest piece of advice is don’t take advantage of someone’s trust and sell them something that is not exactly what they need.

Your clients are looking for the products they want and if you don’t have those products because you believe you don’t like upselling, you are actually not serving your clients in the best way possible.

I get enquiries every week from other photographer’s clients asking if I can create them an album with their wedding images because their photographer doesn’t offer that service. I even book a lot of clients just because we have the extra add-ons they were looking for and others didn’t offer it.

People love shopping. And People love choice. So if you are not giving them that experience, you are doing more harm than good.

the album academy

1/ Personalize

I believe the more your personalise an add-on for your client, the more likely they are going to feel looked after and more likely to purchase. For example, If you are trying to upsell a videographer to muir clients and they have expressed they don’t want video, it’s a safe bet to say you won’t get a sale. But if they really love photos and they are there most important, upsell an album and talk about why you believe this is the perfect product just for them.

2 /Choice

Your clients trust you as a professional and they believe and even want to buy, products that you believe in and curate just for them. People love shopping and they love the power of choice. If you don’t give your clients choices, it can feel like you are pushing a package or product onto them with no options and it can feel like a one-size-fits-all’ type of thing and most people don’t like that.

On the other hand, people don’t like too many choices. And with too many choices can cause the same reaction as not enough choices. Your client will get confused and it simply becomes easier to just not book you…

Just like when you walk to a drink fridge and there are 50 choices of drinks and it gets way too hard to make a decision.

3/ Get your language right.

Some of the best upselling examples get this right by making visitors imagine how they could make use of the upgrade, or by triggering the fear of missing out (FOMO). This is psychologically proven to help make more sales. Good copy to communicate what your packagers and offers will do for them is key.

4 / be honest.

You don’t have to be a salesman to sell add-ons and often that is exactly what your clients are afraid of.

Be honest with your opinion and make sure you have your client’s best interest at heart and not your agenda to make extra sales. If you are going for an upsell, talk them through why you believe it is the right choice. Being genuine and transparent is always going to trump sleazy sales tactics.

5 / Reward loyalty.

I know discounts are never a good thing because you will become a discount wedding photographer or a discount designer. But I believe once someone has booked your services, there is no reason why you can’t treat your clients with insider specials and discounts or even something else, like a thank-you card or a gift. Or even a voucher for a future purchase or a discount on a product that you know they will love.

6 / Visiualize.

People have a hard time visualising something that is not right in front of them. So it is important to have examples of what you have on offer and if they can touch it, hold it and feel it, the product will sell itself.

For example, I sell wedding albums to my clients and I love the albums I sell. I believe they are the best money can buy and I believe they are an amazing investment for my clients. But it is hard for me to just sit there in a client meeting and tell them that. It is much easier to put a sample album into their lap and let the product sell itself. And if I am telling them all the facts and features of the albums, at least they can hold them in their hands and see why I am so passionate about what I am selling.

Album academy

7 / Make it easy!

With any kind of add-on or upsell, it needs to be an easy process. From the choice, all the way to the payment and delivery.

There are many programs out there that help you sell add-ons upon checkout or upon booking your services which means they don’t need to get out their credit card twice and it becomes one easy transaction.
Also offering things like free delivery, free gift-wrapping or any other way to make it easy and desirable for your clients, the better.

I would also make it easy with pricing. People hate hidden fees and extra credit card fees and extra tax fees and all the other things to stop people from buying. The easier and more painless you make it for someone, the more sales you will get. So next time you re complaining about the credit card fees you have to pay, just remember that you may have made a lot more revenue this year just because you made it easy for your clients and you accepted credit card payments or even payment plans.

8/ Educate

Most of the time people don’t even know what they want until you show them what they want. Educating people on your products makes it much easier for people to buy your products because they know what they are, how to use them, why they need them and just simply, so they know your products exist.

You can educate your clients through your mailing list, blog, social media platforms, in person at meetings and many other ways.

So I want you to have a think about what you offer and how you can educate your tribe on what you offer.

Ok, I am going to have to wrap up this episode. But I could literally talk about this stuff for days. I am passionate about it because I love the fact that I can make more money for my business which means I can employ people, give my clients a better service and live the life that I want. So it really is an amazing tool to be able to offer the products your clients actually want.

Again, my new course ‘The Album Academy’ is almost here and I can’t wait to start teaching wedding photographers how to sell albums effortlessly and bring in more money for their business. The course will be available from the 4th Nov for two weeks only. So it’s only a small window, but seriously guys, this course has so much value and I am excited to be bringing this to you.

So last recap before we end the show,

Tip1 – Personalise

2 – choice

3 – get your lounge right

4 – be honest

5 – reward loyalty

6 – visualise

7 – make it easy

8 – educate.

Don’t forget to download the free workbook for the show.

See you next time.

the album academy
Evolution Botanicals

In today’s episode, I am talking with Nara Commerford, the founder of Evolution Botanicals in Byron Bay, Australia. Evolution Botanicals are a collection of premium tonic herbs and adaptogens. Nara has been running this company only for a few months now and we dive in to see why he decided to go out and create a product from scratch and how he is going about getting out to the world.

I have known Nara for a long time now and I know he is good at life and education hacking. So that is exactly what we talk about today.


Here are the three tips Nara gives us at the end of the episode on creating a physical product to bring to the market.


  1. When thinking about creating a product, think about if the actual product is scalable. A lot of work goes into developing a product to bring to market and the more scalable your product is, the profitable it will be.
  2. Put your product through a good beta test. Get some real feedback and listen to what the customers actually want. Nara explains how he got hundreds of people to help him choose his branding, labeling and the brand as a whole. Listening is a huge attribute to any entrepreneur.
  3. Thinking about the actual cost of your product and being honest with yourself. Working out how much it actually costs when you factor in networking,  equipment, distribution and all those little things that you may overlook when you first start.


I am personally bringing a few physical products to my online store in the next 12 months, so it was so nice to have a chat with someone that is doing it and get some inside knowledge and insight. It is literally the best way to learn.


Evolution Botanicals


To find out more, find Evolution Botanicals here:

Instagram // Website

Today’s episode is with an Australian singer-songwriter, Kyle Lionhart. Kyle has been making waves lately with his new album hitting the shelves and it has been non-stop busy for him. So I am very luck I could catch him for 40 minutes and get a good interview for you.

Kyle Lionhart is actually my brother-in-law and I have known Kyle for most of my life. So it has been incredible watching him grow up and not only dream big, but believing in himself to make those dreams his life. Not many people do that, especially after becoming a young parent.

So today we talk about riding the highs and lows and I know Kyle gets both in spades. So many incredible things happen for him every day with his career but it is not always good news. Sometimes he is fighting to the odds to keep the dream alive.


Kyle Lionhart


The biggest take away from this episode ‘persistence’. Reaching your goals and dreams, it really comes down to how persistent you are. How many times are you prepared to get back up and try again. If you just keep trying you will eventually get there. Sometimes you will need to change how you are doing things and change the formula, but persistence will out trump anything else.

The other take away that I loved is loving your clients and fans. Serve them and give them the best experience, no matter what industry you are in. It will pay off in spades.

If you want to hear more, get over to the ‘Riding The Lows & Highs’ Podcast episode with Kyle Lionhart.

Reaching your goals and dreams, it really comes down to how persistent you are.


Find Kyle here:

Website // Instagram // Spotify





Kyle Lionhart

I’ve always pushed myself to do the things that make me most uncomfortable and, truth be told, this is one of the main reasons why I’m starting a podcast. Yes, it’s a business podcast, so listeners will glean a lot of advice, tips and tricks from each episode, but the underlining (selfish!) reason why I’m doing this is to push myself and encourage me to grow.

I’d been asked to do several podcast interviews and I noticed that I kept saying no. It wasn’t because I didn’t have time to do them – it was just because I was scared of recording a conversation and making a mistake in front of an audience.

That does sound scary, right?

Jai Long

Make Your Break is a creative business podcast show that’s aimed towards helping my community push their businesses to new heights. I’m packing it with stories, inspiration and tangible tips designed to help anyone at any stage of their creative business take action to improve their situation.

I’ve been recording it in my bedroom, which isn’t the quietest place even at the best of times. We live behind a busy café and are surrounded by shops and public transport. But you do what you have to do and I actually think the sound quality is working out really well!

I’ve also received some help from a company that specialises in podcasting and who do all the post-production. We have so many projects and businesses on the go at the same time and it would be crazy for us to try and do everything ourselves.

To be completely honest, recording the first episode was much harder than I thought it would be. I overthought it, ruminating on it for days on end. I changed the subject a few times and did too many script rewrites. By the end, I had to apply one of my personal rules to the process: Done is always better than perfect. And I know that the show will only get better, so I can’t get too caught up in perfecting the first episode. I fumble my words in some parts but I actually like this real, authentic feel. Plus, it gives me a great chance to improve! I want to get more confident when speaking in front of a microphone and this is the perfect opportunity for me to do just that.

So, if you love listening to podcasts before work for that extra bit of motivation as much as I do, I invite you to take a listen to the trailer and subscribe on your favourite channel – let’s start spending our mornings together!

Oh, and if you have any suggestions for the shows then I would love your input, so please leave a comment below.




Subscribe – Apple Podcast // Spotify

“Thank YOU Jai!!!! It was honestly life-changing for me. I’ll be doing more one on ones with you. I’ll see you next year to shout you that drink when I book those 40 weddings!”
~ Prue Peters


wedding photography workshop Melbourne


It was no suprise that this Melbourne workshop SOLD OUT in record time, full of keen creative business owners ready to take control of their business and up their game. The feedback has been incredible and it is so rewarding to read through all the reviews, emails and listening to feedback. It just confirms to me that the workshop is making such a huge impact on so many creative businesses.

This workshop was held in a warehouse in Abbotsford called Small Talk. It was the perfect venue and it really had that cool Melbourne vibes. Such an easy location for everyone to get to, especially when they fly in from interstate and book accommodation right in the city.

For me, every workshop is different and every student is at a different level or different part of their journey. So it can be hard to navigate around and make sure I don’t teach anything that will go over their heads and it has to have enough so they can see the middle moving for their business. At the end of the day, everyone has a goal and this workshop is a BIG stepping stone to get them that one step closer.


Free The Bird workshop

The workshop is spread over two full days and you would think that is plenty of time, but even at this workshop, we didn’t get all the way through all the content. There is just so much to go through when you are knee-deep in business and trying to take it to a new level. Even if you are just starting out, you still have a ‘to-do’ list longer than you want. But having said that, I made all the content digestible and easy to implement in a step-by-step format.

Melbourne wedding photography workshop


Melbourne photography workshop