How Paulina & Matas managed to stay motivated to create a wedding photography course over a 3 year period

 

  • Course Instructor: Paulina Jūrė & Matas Jūras
  • Website: www.photoinsider.co
  • Course Topic: “Wedding Photography Insider” – a course for wedding photographers how to start and grow wedding photography business.
  • Interesting Stats: So far, we had around 200 students online. More than 300 students in our live workshops. And over a 1500 people heard us speak in conferences.
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1. Who are you?

We are a husband & wife wedding photographers team – Paulina & Matas. Together we are called Jūras Duo Photography. We live in a beautiful tiny country Lithuania and travel all around Europe for work.

2. What’s your course all about?

It’s all about helping aspiring wedding photographers achieve their definition of success.

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3. What makes you an expert in this field?

We have photographed more than 250 weddings across Europe since 2009. We host quite a lot of workshops and speak at various conferences inspiring others to become better photographers. During those years we have won numerous international awards, including Best Baltic Wedding Photograph 2012 and made it into Top 30 of Fearless Photographers in 2016.

4. What is the transformation your course offers to the students?

First of all students will walk away with a clear roadmap on how to build a wedding photography business that brings them joy and fulfilment. Filling in the workbook will guide them how to shape it around their personalities. Second, they will gain confidence in various situations that happen in weddings. They will have knowledge of how to create great images no matter the circumstances.

5. Which market does your online course serve and how did you get into it?

The course is for people who are passionate about photography and those who want to start their wedding photographer’s career. OR for those who feel stuck in their current stage as a photographer, but want to break through and turn it into a successful business. We have hosted numerous successful workshops, and it’s a great time to bring our knowledge for international audiences online.

As for ourselves we got into wedding photography leaving our corporate careers. We had 0 knowledge about photography, no gear and 0 budget for buying it. In the first season we booked 3 weddings and then in only 6 months we fully booked our next season as wedding photographers. We did it during the last financial crisis (2008) and it was the best decision we could make.

6. Why is it important to you to serve this market?

We really want to help other photographers succeed in a way that success means for them. Wedding photography changed our lives. We went from corporate careers and being very restricted in our time and creativity to absolute freedom in the decision making of how we want to live our lives. We can choose how to create, how to spend our time, we can travel for a few months at a time and we work with absolutely amazing clients. So we want to help other people to create this kind of life too.

7. Describe the moment when you decided to create your own course. Where were you, what happened and why did you decide to do it?

We were thinking about this for a while, but had no idea how and where to start. And then, in the most random place in Bali we met this couple. They were working in online business for some time, had a lot of experience and they encouraged us. They gave us that first poke to start doing it. Soon after, we have formulated a concept to film the course across numerous countries in Europe – so it would be truly an international and inspiring course.

8. How did you overcome doubtful moments during your course creation journey?

This was such a bumpy ride. Really, we’ve never imagined how hard it will be. Though we had the program’s structure in mind and we’ve hosted live workshops in our native language on this program. We are photographers, so we thought we will quickly figure out how to film too. But we made a very big mistake in the beginning – we decided to make a complex 6 hour long course. And we decided to film it all across Europe. So as exciting as it sounds, it was the hardest journey we have done in our business. We thought it would take us a couple months to build the course. But we have overestimated ourselves significantly. It took us 3 years to put it together. There were definitely times when we just wanted to quit. And then after maybe 1,5 years we just stopped for maybe 6 months. Because we had a lot of weddings to photograph too. And there was never enough time. The idea is great, but it’s too complicated for our first course. 

So in order to move from that feeling of being stuck and lost we decided we have to launch something smaller first. So we launched a much smaller course in our native Lithuanian language. After that we launched a second small course in English. These were great decisions – as we’ve got more experience filming, editing and creating video content. And the feeling of accomplishment followed, which brought back the confidence to finish the BIG course we started some years ago. The motivation was always there, but it felt too big, too complex and too overwhelming. The smaller courses helped us a lot along the way. 

Another thing that helped us keep moving further was the belief that we are going through a great school and we learn so much along the way. 

9. What are some of your tricks to deal with imposter syndrome?

  1. Never compare ourselves to others except for the sake of research. We know everyone is unique in their own way and we can never become someone else. Or someone else become us.

2. Whatever the situation is we are always looking for positive aspects of it. And turn problems into projects. That means that if we don’t trust any of our creations or decisions – this is a sign to pay better attention to it, break it down into smaller elements and either solve it or enjoy it.

3. Get some of our ideal students to test our program and give feedback.

 

10. How long did it take you to create your course?

It is definitely too long, but from the time we started it, till we did a soft launch it was 3 years. It was not the only thing we have been working on during this period, but it was our main focus. There were some periods when we paused too, because we felt completely stuck. 

11. How did your first launch go?

So far, we did a soft launch for the beta version of the course, since we are still finishing the video content. We also want to really refine the course according to the initial feedback before official launch. We now have our first group of students and keep getting really exciting messages. This makes us extremely happy!

12. How do you structure your launches in general now?

We are now planning to have 2 launches per year with a 2 week pre-launch phase and 1-2 weeks launch phase.

13. Where does your traffic come from?

For the soft launch, we had a mailing list of 700 people, half of which are our former students. We sent them the info, and we shared the news on our Instagram and Facebook pages. These were all Lithuanian people. So far we have relatively no international audience. Building one – is a big challenge for us in the near future. We have 3 strategies we will be testing and see how it goes.

14. Which content do you like producing the most?

We love creating video lessons – the ones where we demonstrate how to create stunning photo compositions in various locations around Europe. Specially for this course we went and filmed in glaciers of Iceland, beaches of Malta, modern architecture in Spain, luxurious villas in Italy, lavender fields in France and mountains of Switzerland. And of course we didn’t forget our beautiful Lithuania.

15. What online course platform are you using?

We have thoroughly tested 5 or 8 platforms. Initially we have settled for Kartra. But now we are in the process of moving to New Zenler.

16. What is amazing about this platform?

New Zenler has everything in one place. Everything is smoothly integrated, so there is no miscommunication between different elements. It’s easy to use so we can focus our energy on content, marketing and our students.

17. Which features do you wish this platform would have?

The platform has integrated webinars, but they do not offer a fully customisable interface for webinars yet. It’s in the process, but not there yet.

18. Why did you choose this platform over other platforms?

Because it’s all in one platform. And value for money is great too. 

19. Which other tools do you use to keep your online business running?

It’s all in one platform, so we do not need much else. For payment processing we use Stripe and Paypal. Stripe is great! Paypal can be tricky sometimes.

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20. How many students have you served so far?

So far, we had around 200 students online. More than 300 students in our live workshops. And over a 1500 people heard us speak in conferences. 

21. How much revenue have you created during your first launch, and ongoing?

N/A

22. What are you running costs to keep the online course business going?

We have established a company in Lithuania, for the online sales to be fully legal. Running a company is around 150€/month. Plus there is a cost of the platform around 120€/month. And outsourcing costs varies from month to month. We are also learning all-the-time so we spend quite a lot of money for courses, seminars and books. But it varies every month. Sometimes we invest 1000€ in the course, sometimes it’s 20€ for the book.

23. What are some of the biggest mistakes you made along the way?

The biggest mistake is that we wanted to launch too big and too complex for our first course. We’ve learned it’s much smarter to start with a smaller course, learn the lessons along the way. And then go big!

24. How has your business changed since implementing an online course into the business model?

So far we are still in the process of building the system. The results are just starting to show up. It’s only the beginning for us!

25. How has your personal life changed?

We went from an absolute comfort to an absolute chaos. From being in the flow and knowing how to do everything. To always trying to figure out how things work. But we knew that changes don’t come easy before starting it. And we are now finally settling in the flow again.

26. What’s the greatest transformational story you can tell about one (or more) of your students?

We have already helped many photographers succeed. One of them is Donatas UFO. He attributes our workshops as the major stepping stones in reaching significant achievements in his career. Later, he has won even more awards than we did: 13 Fearless awards, many MyWed awards, SLR lounge Awards, Wedding Photography Select awards and etc.

We helped him realise how important it is to specialise in one specific niche and focus all the energy to make it work. We have given him a clear roadmap on how to move forward and create a unique brand. We showed him a lot of good tricks on how to create strong images in various situations.

27. If you could use a time machine and send yourself back to the time before you started out, what advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know now?

Get a mentor and start small.

28. What is your million dollar piece of advice to those who are just getting started in their online course journey OR for those who are looking to scale?

Connect with people who have already done this. Start small, learn along the way and then go big.

How to create an online course.png

How to create an online course.png

Would you like to learn exactly how to create, sell, market & scale your online course?

Join Our Free Event:

The Ultimate Online Course Conference

March 29th - April 4th

Registration Closes In

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

The World’s Economy Has Already Shifted Into The Virtual Space More And Faster Than Ever Before & It’s Time To Catch Up Right Now… Or Else You’ll Risk Getting Left Behind.

The Most “Future Proof” Way To Get Ahead And Run A Sustainable Online Business Is By Entering The Exploding Digital Knowledge Industry With The Guidance Of Tina and 30+ Experts Through Online Course Talks. 

how to create an online course