Last night was amazing!! I talked all about the 5 things I did to really JumpStart my business and now I am sharing everything I did with you!! I remember first starting out and totally feeling like a fish out of water, lol. I applied these 5 things and I could see how different my business was starting to function and a difference in my clientele almost immediately! So let’s get started.
I didn’t know up from down, but I did know I wanted to have a small business that stood out from the personal presence I had online. The first thing I did was set up a free website to house my work as well as get a logo and start a business Facebook page. I had heard some horror stories of other business creatives having their pages completely shut down because Facebook does not want you to use your personal page for business, so I steered clear. If you want to be paid, respected, and work as a professional, it starts with your business brand.
When you first start out in your business you should try everything until you find the style you like. When I got my camera I photographed everything that was moving or stationary it didn’t matter, I wanted to photograph it. I met so many awesome people throughout that part of my journey, many that are still my clients today. I shot families, events, families, boudoir, weddings, even babies! As I grew and developed however I realized that I had become smitten with weddings. Gorgeous brides and grooms committing their lives together on the most important day of their lives still gives me goosebumps when I think about it, and why should I be surprised that this is where my journey led me. I have always loved the idea of being in love, and recognized the work that was involved with staying in love. Once you find your niche then the fun can really begin, because your creative juices will be flowing.
Now that you have an area of focus, it is time to put your “stank” on it, your style. I believe style is like jeans, you know as soon as you got the right fit because it hides the flaws an hugs the curves in all the right places. I have myself went from editing “light and airy” then “dark and moody” not just in the same year, but literally within the same gallery, lol, no I am serious! I can imagine the clients face when that gallery was delivered, hey probably thought I had some sort of brain malfunction half way through the gallery! I do however think it is OKAY to make those kinds of small mistakes as you learn “your” style and develop “who” you are as an artist. I do think it is even more awesome if you identify that early on, that way when a potential client goes to your website, your work flows together and they know exactly what they are going to get when they hire you.
Call me old fashion but a little time to educate yourself might be a good thing. You are entering one of the most fast paced industries ever! Being a creative means you are competing with every other creative who believes their product is “the” product. There is nothing wrong with having confidence in your product, however without the education to back it up you may find yourself limited to what times of day you can shoot, or certain locations. I spent a ridiculous amount of time on YouTube and I used to joke that I was YouTube educated, there is very little you can’t find on this platform. I would watch videos then test it out on my test subjects, my son, my dog, my poor husband, lol. Once I knew this was something I wanted to do I got myself a mentor in an area I knew I needed developed if I wanted to be considered for potential paid sessions. I watched every free online webinar and eventually took some time and went to a remote workshop and I came back forever changed. I can’t stress enough how limiting not being educated in your trade can really be. If you don’t know how to use flash, but know you want to do shoot weddings, does that mean you only take weddings during the day? If you have a client who wants you to capture the a landmark in the back of their camera, but your only shooting on one setting, do you shoot it anyways knowing that landmark will not shine through in their pictures because you can’t figure out how to get them in focus and the landmark too? Knowledge really is power, and the more you take advantage of it the more confidence you will have in those quirky not norm situations.
So now you’ve got your branding, you know what you love to shoot, you have your style and you’ve educated yourself, but maybe you are not attracting the clients that fit into the niche of what you are wanting to shoot, don’t fret and take the bull by the horns, literally!! I knew I wanted to shoot weddings, there was no stopping me, I had second shot a few weddings but literally didn’t have anything that was reflective me. When you second shoot more chanced then not you are not shooting for yourself but you are shooting for that lead, and if you are not shooting for that lead then you might not be cut out for second shooting and that is okay, it is important to know yourself. (Sorry if I ruffle some feathers with that one.) So if you are second shooting it means you have limited to no control over anything posing or stylistically so this is where setting up a styled shoot can really be a game changer for you. You pick the models, the attire, the style, everything. You do the posing, you decide what lens, angles and everything to make it reflective of exactly who you are. You can then put that work out to the universe and say, “this is me”, and I tell you clients that connect with you will gravitate to you.
So my last and final question is, are you ready to JumpStart your business? To take these tips and apply them? The I would love for you to join me in this 5 week course called JumpStart starting August 15th at 6:30pm PT on my Facebook page!! We will be taking a deep dive into these 5 topics along with free downloadable guides for you to continue your learning even after the course ends. To get the free downloadable guide for JumpStart click here! For specials only available to enrolled attendees please register here. Registrants will get a more personalized experience and free 15 minutes of business coaching.