Going into business for myself was scary. I mean, really scary. Each decision feels like a make it or break it moment and, in my mind, one misstep could cause ten more potential problems. Of course, risks are just part of doing what you love, and without them, there wouldn't be that "YES!" moment when you feel all of your hard work paying off. So, I thought I'd share with you some of those decisions that turned out to be turning points for my business, and helped me enjoy being my own boss!
Keeping Track of My Clients
Without a system for keeping track of clients, events, invoices, and packages, everything seems to be spinning in a big bowl of alphabet soup. One of the best decisions I've ever made was to commit to a client system that keeps track of the couples that I work with, what they're looking for, and where we are in the process of getting them the perfect photos of their big day! That's why I started using Honeybook, a tool for keeping track of my clients from their initial consultation to the wedding day. With Honeybook, I know exactly what I need to follow up on for each client, and lets me breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I'm on top of everything!
There's no bigger pressure than finances, which is why I've stayed dedicated to keeping myself out of debt as much as possible. That means paying cash for my equipment, waiting to upgrade until I feel comfortable that I can afford it, and taking a little bit of time to bargain-hunt. It's amazing what you can find if you're open to using lightly-loved gear!
Investing in Myself
You are your biggest cheerleader, your closest friend, and the most valuable asset to your business - and you should treat yourself that way! As a photographer, I know I need to be constantly investing in myself and my skills to keep my photography game strong. I've attended the Caroline Logan Workshop and the Amy and Jordan Workshop, and jump on any chance I have to listen in on an online class or webinar. Even if it seems like something low on the to-do list, something I could push to a later day, I invest in opportunities to learn and grow because, at the end of the day, I'm my most powerful tool.
There's a community out there. Use it!
Has anyone else been intimidated by networking events? Afraid to go up to someone and strike up a conversation? Me too! The fact is, the connections you meet are some of the best resources you'll have as you grow your business. I've made countless friends and an AMAZING support system since beginning this journey, so why wouldn't I use them when I'm unsure about a decision, need a second opinion, or am just looking for some sage wisdom from a photogra-friend? One of the best thoughts to remember is that you can learn something from anyone, so don't miss the opportunity to learn something new!