One of the things about being in business is that you have to be extremely flexible. Those who set out and are determined for things to always be the way they set them to be, will not succeed. In my business, there have been “game changers” that have totally changed the direction of things and how I do business and therefore succeed.
1. Realized that I am NOT everyone’s photographer! This was a huge lesson that I had to learn a few years back, but once I did, it totally freed me up to focus on the people who I am the photographer for. At one point I was killing myself, trying to be everything to everyone. I was trying to shoot every type of session, I tried to meet everyone’s price point and I would get so frustrated when a client would enquire with me and then go some where else. But when I realized that I have a certain market that I reach, clients to are not just looking for someone to “take a few pictures” , but are looking for an experience…it was definitely a changing point.
2. That Social Media and NOT print advertising was where I should put my efforts: I get called all the time from advertisers for this publication or this event and want me buy advertisement with them. I have realized that I have NEVER booked a client from a print ad. They just do not work for my business. What does work, is having a strong online presence and connecting with my readers and followers. That has worked amazingly!
3. Not being ALL business: When I came to the understanding that I need to be transparent and share some about my life (the life at Castle Caudle) and more about business and the behind the scenes about what I do, the more I connected with people..let’s face it, that’s what it’s all about. I have so many clients, who when I show up at a session, will say “Oh I loved that post you wrote about …..or I loved that picture of your daughter” we’ve connected and that is so important.
4. I am going to fail! Yes, yes yes! It’s very hard for those of us who are perfectionist. It’s painful to look at something I’ve done and realized that it was a total flop! But we all fail, and we will never have huge successes, without failing. It’s just part of it. So while I do think things through, I usually never worry anymore about “what if it doesn’t work?” I’m at a point where if I think it has the remote possibility of being a huge success…I do it…I would say that 1/2 of the time it flops, but the other 1/2…it’s a huge success and I have to come to just know that there are things that I will fail at and it’s okay.
5. Don’t worry about the Jones’! When starting out, most of us, find blogs and sites of amazing photographers and follow them. We read their every word, we look at all their images and dream about the day that we too can have beautiful images and run a successful business. That is all fine and good and we do learn a ton from others, but there comes a point when I had to just put blinders on and just go! So for me, when I stopped reading all the latest blogs from all the “rock stars” even those that I love and adore, and I focus on me and my business, I found myself getting somewhere. You know, just like me, I try to put my best foot forward on here and on Facebook and Instagram. It’s my best work, it’s the fun stories etc. And most of them do that too. They are putting their highlight real for everyone to see….and I found it hard not to compare myself, my life, my work to theirs. Why can’t my blog posts be as whitty? Why can’t my images look like that? Why does their branding look so amazing? But you know, I had a friend tell me “Sara-anne, that’s what I think when I look at your blog” That hit me straight between the eyes…we all struggle with it, but now, you won’t find me reading anyone else blog, I very rarely get on another photographers FB page etc…I just have to keep swimming and worry about me! This changed things tremendously for the way that I ran things.
What were the game changers for you? if you don’t know, think about it as it’s a great reference to go back and see what are the thoughts that changed your business!
Switching gears a bit…Look at this gorgeous family! I loved their outfit choice and their session at Holden Beach…so much fun!