Today, let’s talk about where to focus. I understand that working on your business can be completely overwhelming. Knowing where to even begin your efforts may feel like a chore in itself and once you’ve finally put your finger on where to begin you have to do just that — begin. You may be ready to hang up the apron before you even stepped into the kitchen. My hope is that after today’s post you will be able to mark a clear path on where your efforts should be headed. If you made the BEST & WORST breakdown then you probably have a good idea where to begin already!
But let’s strategize out a plan for someone who is just starting their photography business. Even if you’ve been around for a while, you should still be able to identify areas that you have neglected and hopefully get some ideas on where you can work to improve.
You are a small business owner and this means you wear a lot of different hats. When looking at the big picture, it’s easy to feel completely and utterly overwhelmed and for good reason! You probably have not been trained as a Marketing Specialist, PR Rep, Accountant, Sales Associate, Manager, Entrepreneur, Photographer, IT Tech, Graphic Designer, Social Media Expert, Professional Writer, Web Designer, and more…. so much more… If you’ve got two or three on that list you might want to give yourself a jumping high five. The worst thing you can do for yourself is expect to be able to do it all and than try to it all. If you really think about it, it’s pure stupidity to assume you could. Now before you go yelling at me for calling you stupid, just know that I was stupid first. So the idea is to break it all down. Take the garden and divide it into categories (we’re talking lists here, in case I lost you). Once you have garden boxes you can pull what you need to break it down into salad size (more lists) and from the salad portion which is much more reasonable and far less intimidating, you can now portion your salad into bite size pieces. Now you’re ready to take down one rewarding and fulFILLing bite at a time. Oh yes, my pun was totally intended.
P.S. When you run into something that you really just don’t know how to do or know that it would take you an absurd and laughable amount of time to accomplish it yourself, it’s okay to outsource! I give you (and me) permission to excuse yourself from thinking and believing that you have to do it all. If you can’t or won’t remember to keep numbers – higher a bookkeeper. If you can spend 12 hours editing one session – hire a Photoshop retoucher. If you feel lost at designing your brand – hire me! 🙂 The point is we can push important (really important) tasks to back burners because we’re intimidated or unsure how to begin… If you know what I’m talking about it’s okay to find someone who can solve your problems for you. It truly is the most joyous and liberating decision is retrospect!
I’m going to write out a diagram of where I would suggest focusing energy.
Garden Stage — The three top priority categories are: 1. Portfolio 2. Branding 3. Business Plans
Now lets breakdown each of these priority categories into beautiful servings of “Salad”.
–> Photography Portfolios
–> Determine your clientele/market and message you want to be sending
–> Logo. The logo is the face of your business. Keep it clean, crisp and professional. I would suggest getting help creating something that you truly love.
–> Creating the Brand. This is the look, feel, colors, message, identity of your business. It should be well though out and send a clear message. Your brand and logo should work flawlessly with one another.
–> Marketing Plans
–> Sales Procedures
–> Referral Programs
–> Client Interaction
–> Short Term Goals
–> Long Term Goals
–> And on and on and on….
Lastly I want to show you one example of breaking down the salad into bite sized portions. I’m not going to break them all down because this would become a real novel (not the fake ones that I get teased for but are really just long winded blog posts).
I’m going to use ‘BRAND —> Creating the Brand’ as my bite sized example.
“–> Creating the Brand. This is the look, feel, colors, message, identity of your business. It should be well though out and send a clear message. Your brand and logo should work flawlessly with one another.”
The BITE SIZED list for creating the brand.
1) Determine Colors –> Symbol/Icon –> Style (creating a Photoshop art board from clippings of images, logos, fashion designs that you like can really help!)
2) Choose a Digital Paper Pack for Branding Integration
4) Integrate Branding through Website and Blog (using logo, digital paper pack, etc.)
5) Design and Price out Client Packaging (see Example of branding from logo to packaging here).
And you just might want to cut the tomato on your fork in half and break it down into a more dainty bite (#6 would definitely be broken down smaller). So start by creating a notebook just for your business. This notebook will become your business plan and strategy. You will refer back to check goals, priorities, progress, etc. After writing out the “garden” and “salad” lists, look over each one and determine which “salad list” would benefit the profiting of your business most and which “salad” list would benefit the organization and efficiency of your business most. Now you have your first two projects to work on.
I really hope today’s post was helpful to you! I’d love to hear your feed back and know what you think of this series. What aspects of your business are you going to start with? I’m really curious to know where people feel they need to work on their business most as this will give me ideas on what I can elaborate on.