After starting my business three years ago, I’m currently working on my brand and learning how to market it. During the first year, I was so focused on getting my name out there I put all things business on the back burner, spending a ton of money where I didn't need to and making many mistakes along the way. In the next year, I figured out what kind of photographer I wanted to be, which resulted in my getting busier with photography. I put figuring out my Brand and Business on the back burner again! Now I’m in my third year. I have steady work, but I’m ready to look at my Brand and Business, and oh my goodness, what a mess!
Long story short, DEAL WITH YOUR BRANDING AND BUSINESS PLAN FIRST! Before you go out there and start working, spend your time and money on who you want to market to, what your look will be, and your value. If you don't know, hire someone to help you with that. It’s worth every penny! I’m currently working with Chatterbox Promotions. Jenniffer is so wonderful, creative, patient, and AWESOME. I’m working hard on fixing my mess and pulling together all the important media stuff. SEO's, pricing, tagging of files, the list goes on and on, but I finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. More importantly, I’m excited with what the final product will look like.
Here are a few things I’ve learned that should’ve been done from the beginning:
Logo: If you don't have one, and aren't sure how to create one, hire someone like Chatterbox Promotions. You need a logo as a simple way to identify your business. I like my logo as it has the tree of life in it, representing all that I stand for: Family, Life, and Love.
Your Brand: What do you want to look like? How do you want clients to see you and remember you? How will they describe your work when chatting with others? Find something unique about yourself and maybe that can be your brand. Once you figure this one out, everything else is a piece of cake, well almost everything else.
Website: Set it up right the first time! If you don't know how, hire someone! I have to fix so many little things that could’ve been done at the beginning and is now taking forever!
Blog: Do it regularly and do it right. It may be a chore to most of you, but it’s so worth the time and effort. Schedule it like an appointment on your calendar, and stick to it. I’ll post a blog later on some helpful things I have learned.
Pricing: Finding your value is hard, but it’s one of the most important things to figure out. Love it, believe in it, and everything else will fall into place. How can anyone else think you’re worth it, if you don't?
Headshots: Make sure you get a good headshot. It’s your first handshake in the social media world. If you need one done or just want to get updated photos, contact me, I would be happy to help.
Lastly, if you don't know the answer, someone else does. Surround yourself with like-minded people, join groups, and chat with fellow business owners. We’re all here to help one another. There is plenty of work out there for all of us.
If any of you out there have suggestions, please post in the comments section. I know we could all use a little help.
In Life & Love - Dawn