I asked; What is preventing you from taking your business to the next level? And realized that hundreds of creatives are dealing with three major issues that is preventing them from taking their business to where they want it to be.
ALLOWING FEAR TO RULE DECISIONS
“Fear. It would be much easier to stay in my desk job that I hate and have a constant income than to take the risk with Photography and self-employment.”
This fear is something all entrepreneurs deal with. It’s making an active decision to turn in what you consider safe, walking away from it and walking on a path of uncertainty and taking a massive risk in going after what you want. To change your perception on this, I want you to think about the company you are currently working for and realize this; This company was started by someone who was willing to walk on that path of uncertainty, and they face the same dangers as anyone out there when it comes to the risks they are taking. The only difference here is that you are working for them, but really, you are no more protected in this “safe” job as you would be if you decided to go after what you really want to do.
To take this a little further, do a bit of re-search on the founder of the company you are currently working for. Find out how they went about starting this company, what it was like when they first began, and I promise you that it wasn’t the same as it is today. At some point, someone who was willing to take a risk, took the chance and started something new. And that something grew large enough to create more employment opportunities for others.
Just to recap: You are no safer in a job working for someone else as you would be working for yourself. All companies big and small had to start somewhere, and no business out there can guarantee you anything long term. You are the only person who can do that for yourself.
When I started my business in 2012 it was a risk I took; it wasn’t safe, nothing was guaranteed. But now in 2017, I have build a striving business, moved my life to Maui, work for myself 100% of the time, work on things that I am passionate about, spend more time with my family, help others do the same, and there is no job out there that could convince me to turn over what I have built myself. When it comes to taking risks, I know betting on myself is the safest path for me. You can get there too, but you have to start somewhere. One day those risks you took, will feel more secure than any job you’ve ever had.
NO SOLID MARKETING STRATEGY IN PLACE
“I just don’t know where to start when it comes to marketing and finding the right type of clients.”
There are so many aspects of marketing, no wonder people don’t know where to start. So to keep things simple I’m going to make you a list. The goal with marketing is attracting the right type of client. Understanding how to create content that brings you one step closer to them.
YOUR WEBSITE: The goal of marketing isn’t about getting millions of followers or likes; it should be to direct traffic to your own website. A strong marketing strategy isn’t focusing on getting the most likes on Instagram, but it’s focusing on getting the most traffic and recognition on your own site. Make sure your website looks professional and that it is functioning as it should. Use your site to rank better in the online world. Your website should always be top priorety.
Utilizing different streams to do this is what makes a killer marketing strategy.
EMAIL MARKETING: Start putting together a newsletter schedule and start connecting with your past clients and customers. Put a focus on collecting email addresses and build your list of contacts. Email marketing is an awesome way to connect to people.
SOCIAL MARKETING (facebook + instagram): Build a consistent content schedule for facebook. Make a list of 3 things you should be posting on your page and start collecting and creating content to share. Here are a few examples:
1. Your work
2. Content for brides (this could be anything related to planning a wedding, styling their dream day, finding the right photographer…)
3. Engaging questions to get a conversation going. (How old were you when you got married? (What are your wedding colors? Heels or flats? What’s your best piece of advice for someone planning their wedding?)
1. Your work
2. Content for expecting mamas and new moms (this could be anything related to being pregnant, latest gadgets, trends, baby names, etc.)
3. Engaging questions to get a conversation going. (How many kids do you have? How did you decide on a name? Did you have any intuition on gender? What color or theme is your nursery?)
As you can see, make a list of content you plan to post on your page and then start curating content to share. Instead of speaking at people through your fan page, try to create a conversation. Let them be part of your community.
PRICING YOURSELF INCORRECTLY
“Confidence and not knowing what to charge. I hate that stuff. I know it won’t get me anywhere being like that, but I feel bad when asked how much I charge.”
Know your worth, then add tax.
For those of you who are lost in figuring out what you need to be charging, you’re not alone and here’s the thing. You can’t solve a mathematical problem if you don’t understand the equation. My goal with pricing is to simplify it as much as possible.
G (goal) Is your yearly income goal
T (time) How many sessions, weddings, products do you want to sell? Whatever your service is, figure out how many of them you want to do, and look at this as your time.
GT (goals + 30% for taxes is a good amount to put aside)
G (goal) x .30 (30% for taxes) + E (expenses) = GTE (goals + taxes + expenses)
GTE (goals + taxes + expenses) / T (time) = P (pricing)
Your pricing number is what you NEED to charge per session to reach your income goals!
Here is an actual example:
$20,000 (goal) x .30 (30% for taxes) + 5000 (expenses) = GTE (goals + taxes + expenses) = $31,000
$31,000 (goals + taxes + expenses) / 12 (time) = $2584 (pricing)
The most important aspect of pricing is that you are calculating your numbers based on your own goals and plans. Understanding what your goals are and what you need to charge to get there is what will make you confident in telling others what you’re worth, just don’t forget to add tax!