Hi friends! In my six years of running this business I have learned a lot and I still have a lot to learn, but I thought I would share a little bit today. Lets get right into it!
1. Establishing a mindest that I owned my business and it did not own me:
When you are building a business around something you are passionate about, it is easy to put a lot of your self worth into your business. It is easy for your business to become where you derive value from and for your successes/failtures to impact how you see yourself. You have to find other outlets in your life that remind you that there is more to life than your business, and there is more to you than being a business owner!
This also means never taking anything personally. Not getting a booking I really wanted, having friends/family book other people, having people ask for discounts and saying no, anything difficult, I’ve learned is not a reflection of who I am, only a reflection of my job.
2. Getting HoneyBook!
Honeybook is a client management software that is pretty expensive but SAVED MY LIFE. It basically helps you streamline your workflow, and layouts all what stage all of your clients are at at any given point.
3. Saying no to jobs that did not align with my brand, vision, or full time job down the road.
When you are starting out it is so easy to take any job: photograph this event, this family session, these products, this wedding, this restaurant, my friends dog, etc. but the truth is if you want to really grow in this industry you have to specialize. This is another topic that needs its own blog post, but basically trying to be good at everything will make it harder to be really great at one thing. It took me 5 years to really say no, now I specialize in weddings and portraits, and very rarely take on other jobs.
4. Focusing on having few clients that are raving fans > a lot of clients.
My number one lead source is a referral from a friend of a previous client. Trust is the most powerful thing in the sales world. You can be the best person at your job in the world, but if your best friend got her photos done by someone that she really loved and connected with, you would feel more comfortable going to that person. That is not something to hate, but something to take advantage of. When I realized the power of this, I started really focusing on getting to know my clients and making sure they had a great experience, and didn’t focus on paying for ads.
5. Outsourcing the right things:
At the beginning of 2018 I was going into another semester at school and knew I couldn’t do it all on my own anymore mainly because I didn’t have the TIME. Knowing when you need an intern/ extra hand is a whole other topic on its own, but deciding what I needed an intern to do was one of the best things for me. I did it like this:
On a white board, laid out my workflow from start to finish:
- What area took the most TIME and slowed down the workflow?
- What area was I simply the worst at because of my skillset?
My answers were blogging my shoots after I finished them, and I was the worst at writing. I never knew what to write or how to say what I wanted to say! So I hired Sarah who was a very skilled blogger on her own, and enjoyed writing!
So that entire area of my workflow is now Sarahs!
6. Investing in the right education.
There are WAY TOO MANY workshops, courses, online classes, etc. that are flashy, fun, annnnnd expensive. It is easy to get caught up in the fact that you are passionate about something and want to be involved with people who are too.
Be cautious of the fact that the people selling things in the industry are very good at marketing, and that means they are very good at making you think you need something that you DON’T.
I literally have a list of things I want to learn that I witness in my own business are areas of weaknesses, and I only invest in education where I feel like it matches those areas on the list. You have to define what you want to improve on on your own otherwise you can be easily convinced you need to improve on everything and lose all your $$ trying!
7. Having PATIENCE!!
Building a business is hard, and wanting to be somewhere you aren’t is hard.
I still feel like I am not where I want to be, but then I remember how far I have come. Always remind yourself of where you were just before your last job. Baby steps count!!!!!
If you read this whole blog post then I am your biggest fan in the world!!!
As always if you have ANY questions/comments/concerns lol at all I am here for you!