Brian built a highly successful photo studio from the ground up in London in less than a year on a shoe string budget. Within three months his studio ranked on page one in Google and had the largest social following of all studios in London. Now Brian travels the world teaching creatives like you how to apply the same principles he used in order to develop their passions into profitable businesses!
Living in Perth, Australia, I was finding that my photography work was constantly drawing me abroad to the US, so as much as I love to travel, and as beautiful as living by the beach in Perth was, from a business perspective the overheads of such a business model really didn’t make a lot of sense. So in 2014 I decided that I needed to make a change, and that’s what I did. In November 2014 I moved to London, one of the most competitive cities in the world in the fashion industry, where I had never been before and had zero contacts before I arrived. So why London if I had no history of working there? The logical choice was really LA or New York where I had already established myself, however I had slightly larger ambitions of also branching out into the European market, so I selected London as it was a short flight to New York and also made all of Europe very accessible. Having already established myself in two different international markets, I was confident that I could take the lessons learnt doing this and repeat this process in London.
I decided that I would open a photography studio in East London, as based on my research I felt that there was a real growth market in the creative industry, the main purpose behind the studio being to increase my network in my new city. I landed in London on September 22nd 2014 with one week of accommodation booked and nothing lined up yet. After some unsuccessful attempts at using real estate brokers via Skype, I decided that I needed to be on the ground myself as they really didn’t seem to understand my vision. I immediately set about seeing properties and there was no shortage of options, but finding the perfect space was a chore. After seeing over fifty properties, I finally found the perfect unfurnished space in Aldgate East, the only downside being that it was only a 500m walk from another photo studio that had been operating successfully for over ten years. But knowing this, I was confident that this studio was not a competitor and that I would be able to establish a strong point of difference between us. So I signed the lease on October 21st and (unofficially) opened the doors of VENTH Studio London in December 2014.
My first booking was within two days and I traded right through the Christmas period, even having a last-minute booking on Christmas Eve. By January 2015, I was ranked on page one of Google in all popular search terms, ranking above studios that had been operating for years. By the end of January 2015, I had grown my studio social media following to become the largest of all studios in London. By the end of February 2015, this new business was breaking even. By the end of March 2015, we were making a profit. By the end of my lease in October 2015, I had met thousands of people in the creative industry in London, and had made so many amazing friends, and I did all of this on the modest budget of £15,000. I didn’t spend a cent on advertising. Throughout this time I had been helping photographers, models, make-up artists, designers, artists, stylists, and photo studios, learn how to replicate this success for themselves through workshops in business and social media, aimed at people in the creative industry. I had also been running a weekly free Q&A session from my studio to a group of over 2,000 people, where they were invited to ask one question of their own, and also hear the responses to questions from the other attendees.
Many people who were unable to attend on a regular basis had asked me if I could record the sessions so that they could see what they missed, so I reluctantly concurred (you will find most photographers don’t really like being in front of the camera) and I uploaded the videos to YouTube so that there was a place for people to watch them. Then a weird thing happened… People from all over the world started finding the videos and were reaching out to me via social media to ask questions too!
As my lease was coming to an end (and I love to travel and meet new people), I made another decision, sold everything in London and hit the road. Since leaving London in October 2015, I’ve been to Paris, Milan, Florence, Rome, Vienna, Budapest, Berlin, Prague, Amsterdam, Brussels, and am currently sitting in Lisbon and it’s only December 2015! All along the way I have been continuing to answer questions via YouTube, running workshops in photography, and helping people grow their businesses all across Europe. From here I plan on continuing to travel, and help as many people achieve their dreams of making a successful career in the creative industry. You can book me for workshops in your city, workshops via Skype, I even have the option for you to come along for my travels and live in with me wherever I am in the world! All the while I am still answering all of your questions via YouTube, having so much fun and feeling very blessed that I am able to help so many people to get closer to their dreams!