Business + Marketing

Smart Psychology for Big Sales: Nidhi Dahiya Q&A

August 22, 2023

By Abbey Pleviak

Nidhi Dahiya works full-time as a behavioral business researcher, and on evenings and weekends, she runs an Arkansas portrait studio with an $14,000 sales average. Dahiya credits her portrait business success not just to her photos but also to knowing human psychology and being able to skillfully make offers that increase her sales potential.

She recently sat down with Nikki Closser on The Portrait System Podcast to talk about those strategies, including how incorporating multiple brands maximizes the variety of her gallery and the size of her sales. Dahiya shares other tips in the interview, such as how the wall art in her home studio helps her clients understand how to incorporate wall art into their own homes and how pay-early bonuses encourage more spending. Listen to the whole interview. Visit Dahiya’s Thrive Code Academy for Dahiya’s educational courses for photographers.

In this bonus Q&A, Dahiya shares her biggest business breakthrough that led to her attracting her ideal clients, how behavioral business research helps her make stronger connections with clients, why offering quality at a low price is not sound business, and more.


Nidhi Dahiya

What has been your biggest breakthrough in business?  

My biggest breakthrough in business was finding my voice, authentically communicating my why, and connecting with my clients on a deeper level. This allowed me to attract with ease my ideal clients who valued what I had to offer and happily paid for the value I was able to add to their lives through my work. 

What is your average sale currently?  

$11,000 across all portrait genres – family, seniors, beauty, boudoir, babies, and branding. 

Most artists had a point in their life when they knew this was meant for them. Do you have that moment?  

Growing up, people called me intelligent and smart, but no one ever called me beautiful. Maybe they didn’t feel the need to say that, but because I had never heard those words, I grew up believing that I was intelligent but not pretty. When I first started learning about photography and took my self-portraits, I thought, wow, I look good. Comments from my friends on social media validated what I was feeling. It was transformational for me to see myself like that. My portraits made me confident in how I looked and made me believe I’m beautiful, so I made it my mission to give this feeling to everyone I would ever photograph.  

©  Nidhi Dahiya

How did you push past fear when building your business?  

I’m an optimistic person and have always found a silver lining in the worst situations. Moving to a foreign country and building a life without any support has taught me that nothing in life is promised, but if we really desire it and commit to working for it, it will find a way to work out. If I fail, I will move back home with nothing – just how I came to this country 21 years ago. Magic happens when we get out of our own way, and I have experienced this over and over. 

Making a connection with your subject is one of the most important parts of a great portrait. How do you make lasting connections with your clients?  

I have always been very keen about getting to really know people. Growing up, I read tons of books on astrology, numerology, and personality traits. I have also been working in the field of Behavioral Business Research for 12 years for my day job. Behavioral business is all about human psychology playing a role in how we shop, think, and interact with people and technology. My love for learning and all the education in the field of psychology and business has given me a good skillset to be able to connect with people on a deeper level. Deep down we are all the same. We just need to help our clients move past the fluff we all hide behind to save ourselves from reliving unfavorable experiences in life. Most of my close friends have been my photography clients in the past. If we don’t become friends after a session, I have probably not served them with my everything. 

©  Nidhi Dahiya

For someone starting out on their photography journey what advice would you have for them?  

Find your why and start communicating that with your audience authentically. We are all born with gifts and are destined to have a life we desire. Use your gift! When we discover who we are and serve from within rather than going after what is trending in the industry, we make deeper connections and achieve success on a much higher level than what we can perhaps comprehend thinking practically. Also, learn to be good at business, not just a good artist. You don’t have to give your art away to be loved. Healthy boundaries are important for both relationships and business. 

Do you regret any decisions you have made in your business?  

Yes, believing that if I offer great quality at low prices, I will be successful. Nope, that’s a recipe for getting burnt out! 

©  Nidhi Dahiya

How has The Portrait System changed your life for the better?  

Finding Sue and learning about in-person sales changed my life. I was a shoot-and-burn photographer, shooting over weekends and evenings after my day job and making myself sick from overworking. Discovering Sue was a turning point for my business. The year before, I had made $33,000 the entire year. My first full year of implementing The Portrait System Education, I made 6 figures. This is my sixth year doing in-person sales, and I’m about to hit 7 figures! 2022 was a $762k year for my business, and I’m on track to hit $1 million this year. 

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years? 

I don’t really think too far out because I try to live in the now. Our best life is waiting for us right now, why wait to step into it? I know I will be a multi-millionaire. I will cross $1 million in revenue in 2023. My goal is to hit $2 million in 2024 with my portrait studio and coaching revenue, hire and train staff to increase my studio revenue without me working in the business myself much and spend more time on the coaching side to help fellow photographers hit that 7-figure mark in their businesses. I will most likely quit my day job by 2025. I think 13 years is a good mark to say goodbye :). For the rest, I will wait for life to unfold itself and be ready to surrender to everything that is coming for me. 


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