Oh Sweet Baby Jesus...how I wish I was writing this post because I have only seen others make these mistakes...but I was smart enough not to make them. But alas, that is not the case. I am writing this post because I have made these 5 mistakes many times. And I'm going to be honest...these mistakes SUCK to fix! Because it takes time to fix them and get on the right path.
When I teach photographers through my workshops or my mentoring sessions these mistakes are made OVER AND OVER again in their businesses. And I feel SOOOO BAD! I just want to fix it for them. And I can't. But what I can do is help them sort out what's holding them back. Over the years I have compiled the top 10 business mistakes I have seen these photographers...and that I have made too. I'm going to share with you 5 of those mistakes.
1. Treating Your Business Like A Messy Closet.
Disorganization is a huge killer to becoming successful. If you can't remember where you put that shirt and you spend 20 minutes in your closet trying to find it, you have wasted 20 minutes of doing something else. Something more productive. Chances are you are now frustrated. But when everything is in it's place, you go right in...get it...get out. This is the same with your business. If you have a gazillion email accounts, files stored in a bazillion of places and no rhyme or reason to the order that you edit a session. You will find that it takes you 10x's longer to get work done. Systems are important. When I teach my workshops systems become the favorite topic because it is so eye opening to everyone. GET ORGANIZED!
2. Money Issues.
Oh girl! (or boy) If I had a dollar for every time one of my students ask me a financial based question, I could retire right now! You are running a business. You need to charge people! You need to raise your prices and MAKE MONEY! You need to realize that YOU are worth being paid for your time and your services. Photography is not a human right...it is a luxury. YOU have a luxury business...why are you still treating it like a community service project? When I sit down with my students and talk about their investment into their business and what they are bringing in, they are always shocked to hear how little they are actually making. Just because you may run your business from home, doesn't mean that it doesn't deserve to make a profit!
3. Assuming Your Photography will Sell Itself
It's pretty I know. That album is gorgeous. Your services are great. But guess what?! It won't sell itself. You have got to be marketing yourself. You have to be using social media! And I don't care if you tell me "Facebook is Dead" cause it's not, and I don't care if you say to me "I don't have the money to invest in marketing." Because there are so many ways you can work it, and market on social media without spending much money or any at all. You need to get people talking about what you offer, you need to be talking about what you offer! The entrepreneur spirit is amazing! People understand small businesses and they want to partake in what you're doing...but you can't assume because you have a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, Blog and Website that this is enough! It won't sell itself! You have got to get to work!
4. Using Outdated Techniques
Oh loves, nothing kills me more then seeing this. Now I'm not just talking about outdated photography techniques, I am also talking about outdated business techniques. You have got to be continuously educating yourself on the newest way to run various social media campaigns. You need to be allowing yourself to evolve. For example, Instagram just came out with a new look. Everyone freaks out, because they think the interface with change...it did a little. But that's my point. These tools we use for our business is constantly changing. So that means you need to be adaptable. Stay up on your education. Just because it worked for you once...doesn't mean it will still work for you!
5. Believing that "FIGURING IT OUT FOR MYSELF WILL SAVE MONEY."
If only I knew this one, when I first started!!! I was like so many of you and thought "I am a smart girl, I can figure it out myself" in efforts to save money. Guess what?! I didn't save any money! Because I messed things up so bad, or spent way to much time figuring it out that in the end it actually cost me money to fix it or have someone do it better. It also cost me because I could have doing something I truly knew how to do to make me money while someone else taught me how, or did it for me. But I digress...I did not do this. The best thing that you can do for your business is to not try to figure everything out on your own. Take classes, LEARN! Education is so important! If it's something that you know how to do, but it's just taking you SO long...considering outsourcing, or finding a system that can do it for you!
I know...I KNOW...we all start somewhere. We all have a lot of learning to do and while much of it is trial in error we can save ourselves A LOT of time, money and heartache when we learn from our mistakes and learn from the mistakes of others.
You're doing amazing...I just know it! And you have so much to give the world. Allow yourself to truly shine by believing in yourself!