Dan Frievalt’s story

Six Figure Instructor

3 minute read

  • Success Stories

Dan Frievalt is an artist to the core. In his role as a graphic designer – a career he held for more than a decade – he imagined what his piece looked like and then made it happen through the magic of design application. Many projects included preparing others’ projects for offset printing, including magazines, labels, and posters. Dan used Photoshop and its suite of tools quite often to design projects.

Creativity was a huge part of what he loved to do, and he was tired of just working on other people’s designs. Photography was a natural addition to his graphic design skills.

He began doing photography in the small town of Green Bay, Wisconsin, competing with other photographers with more experience, better lighting, and sleeker equipment. He realized the image he had in his head of how the photos should look didn’t line up with the output from his camera. With his graphic art experience, he used filters, overlays, and textures to “hide” imperfections in his photographs, helping them match the vision he held in his mind.

“I would hide things in my photography with editing and design,” Dan said.

Turning Photography into Art

Dan sharpened his photography skills and invested in better equipment, resulting in much higher quality pictures that weren’t retouched. But old habits die hard.

“I did composites before, wild, crazy things. I would look at pictures and think, ‘I should add a texture’. But it didn’t need it,” Dan explained.

At the same time, Dan niched down and began focusing on high school senior photography, a massive draw for Midwestern families. He was photographing 100s of seniors a year, and soon it began to feel the same as his career as a graphic artist – photos weren’t creative; they were a production line.

Dan tweaked his fees, schedule, and booking availability, but it was when he differentiated himself by blending high-quality photos with custom composite artwork, his business began to thrive. And other photographers started to take notice. His composite art was catching on just as more and more photographers began offering more digital products.

Artwork and Education, Scaled

The problem? There’s only one Dan. He kept a full schedule of senior clients and did what he could do during the “off-season,” but he wanted to offer a way to help other photographers create these same types of images in a scalable way. He was tired of trading his time for money.

“I’m always moving, always thinking up new ideas. My wife has to reel me back in,” Dan said.

But luckily, his idea stuck, and the idea of Seniors Unlocked, a library of digital video lessons, Photoshop overlays and brushes, and coaching for starting and scaling a high-end artistic photography business.

The first venture into teaching was a disorganized mess, sold with a blend of in-person teaching and DVDs with lessons and materials priced at $67 each. He didn’t have any of the typical marketing tactics course creators of today use: no landing page, email list, or funnels. While the idea was on-point, the implementation wasn’t profitable or straightforward and kept him in the same loop of trading his time for money.

Shifting to an Online Course Platform

When Dan found Kajabi, everything changed. He shifted his teaching and his products to his Kajabi store, set up landing pages and funnels, and introduced Drip-Feed marketing that offered any course or module for $1. He could easily update video lessons and add new tools on the fly. With a more organized and efficient product, Dan was ready to jump into the online course world.

Dan used a combination of evergreen webinars, strategic sponsorships for live events and email marketing promotion, and Facebook Ads, which gave him the ability to dial down his target audience without spending a fortune.

“I didn’t have a lot of different tactics. I had ‘base hits’ - the techniques that work well but don’t take too much time to keep up once it’s set,” Dan said.

Course Results

The course transformed Dan’s life. He makes $100,000+ from the course, in addition to his thriving senior photography business. But the best benefit has been the time he’s gotten back due to scaling with an online course.

“I’m working less and making more. I can make money without having to trade my valuable time for it,” Dan Frievalt

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