Have you even felt like you are always one step behind with all things business?
Whether you’re reels aren’t exactly trending, there is yet another social media platform to master, or you just don’t feel like you know how to keep up and actually get your message in- front of the right people, running a business can be damn hard!
In this wonderfully challenging journey of being a girl boss, I have found, that there are some fundamental truths to building a lasting, impactful, and yes, dream business that keep my passion alive, fuels my drive and yes, points me in the right direction when distractions and new trends are trying to pull me in too many directions.
It’s SO EASY to feel the pressure to jump on the latest social media marketing trend. And although many of them can be powerful marking tools, we often end up imitating what everyone else is doing, instead of operating from a solid foundation, unique to our brand and voice, that will enable us to really utilize the power of any new tool in a unique, powerful and purposeful way.
(and damn, they bring so much clarity and simplicity back into business, and provide a roadmap for success that is unique to YOU – instead of feeling like you need to imitate what you see everyone else doing.
BEST OF ALL – it keeps you relevant to your target audience, no lip syncing or awkward dance moves required!
I am all for simple, easy, and actionable. (Can I get a heck yeah?!)
Are you ready for them?
1) Your “why” or your “driving force” is the most important thing about your business.
What led you to start this business?
What happens in the world because your business exists?
What impact does it make on your ideal client?
I go back to this every time you feel overwhelmed or discouraged, it’s a guidepost and anchor that has never failed me.
2) The heart of your business is born from your values.
You need to be able to name your values (every good and impactful business has a soul) and you can’t live out of values you can’t name.
Getting clear on what you stand for and value as a business helps you to know how to show up, which decisions to make, keep you in line with your integrity and what matters most to you and your ideal client.
3) Your unique talents and point of view is what sets you apart (and forms the backbone of your purpose and vision)
The word vocation can also be translated into “voice”, so I totally believe that your work matters – let your life speak.
I believe you have been uniquely gifted and called to create an impact in the world through your work.
It’s glorious that you get to feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment in what you get to do while making a beautiful impact on those you serve.
So, your unique gifting, passions, and talents matter, and you should get clear on what sets you apart so that you can step out with a clear vision of how you can impact the world through your craft.
4) Failure is not fatal, popular doesn’t pay the bills and you need to get very real about what success looks like for you.
Your first blog post might be a total flop, the first wedding you photograph solo might have you feeling like an imposter, and some days, you go diving for pearls, and only come up with clams.
But failure today, leads to incredible improvement tomorrow, and you will always learn more from a failure than a win. Growing in resilience, character and determination is an incredibly valuable tools that will serve you for years to come, so failing doesn’t mean you are a failure.
Just remember, that not all growth and success need to be instant, slow growth equals deep roots, and we live in a culture that promises “instant results” when, most of the overnight successes you see, were 10 years in the making.
5) You are your most important asset (learn to discern when to say yes, and how to say no)
Burnout is a reality, and guarding your heart, creativity and energy is your most important job.
Maybe you need to unfollow/mute some people in Instagram for a season.
Maybe you need to surround yourself with people who support and encourage your dreams (and don’t leave you doubting yourself)
Maybe you need to get stricter about your working hours and spend time doing things that fill you back up (hustle is a lie) I’ve made the mistake of burning the candle at both ends too often, and I’ve walked through more than one season of burnout – which let me tell you, not only leaves you exhausted and overwhelmed, but sucks all the passion
6) The ones that win, are the ones who didn’t give up, hard work and discipline is more important than talent.
I am so often inspired by other photographers and creatives, and no-one likes a good transformation story than me!
What often stands out to me, is that the people who I see as ‘heroes’ in my industry, were the ones who just kept going.
They weren’t the most naturally talented or instantly successful, but they have been working on their craft, honing their voice, and showing up for YEARS. Incrementally improving and not giving up when things got hard.
7) How to get clients to beat down a path to your door? Empathy
Knowing your ideal client and having empathy for the people you serve will set you up to make an incredible impact.
Putting yourself in their shoes will enable you to offer a service that they truly crave and will show you areas in your business where you can make small changes that can have big results.
For me, it’s meant that I understand how vulnerable and unsure my clients feel before a shoot and has led me to guiding them with emails to set them at ease, invite connection into a shoot, send outfit guides to help them get the most out their shoot and helping them find a location that is beautiful and safe.
I know that the more I focus on the people I serve, listening to what they say, and putting myself in their shoes, the more I will not only be able to create a unique client experience, but one that makes people feel seen, heard, and yes, even loved.
8) Learn how to whisper to the right people, not shout to the masses.
Popular doesn’t pay the bills, it never has.
I know that the ‘new’ Instagram with its lip syncing, video formats and awkward dance moves is overwhelming, and many photographers feel cheated from what the gram used to be, but I’ve also seen that I can still resonate with the right people (Even amid uncomfortable change)
True success as a business isn’t always found in speaking to the masses, but often in speaking to the right audience.
I keep learning, that it matters more to write one post and thoughtful caption that resonates with the right person, that is true to my brand values and voice, than to go viral with a reel that was trendy but didn’t necessarily mean anything for your business. (Did they click over to my website? Did I share the heart of my work and what it means for them?)
Going viral isn’t my aim, connection with my ideal bride is.
The ever-changing landscape of social media has forced me to reflect on what success really looks like for me and my business and to keep showing up in alignment with that.
Running a business requires patience, wisdom, integrity, and perseverance, but it will forever be one of the best things I’ve ever pursued. Not just in doing something I love, and making an impact on those I serve, but – in growing and shaping me into the person God indented for me to be.