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New Year Business Planning | Part 2

Mission and Vision StatementNew Year Planning | Part 2

If you missed the first part of our series, make sure you go back and read part 1. The next part of our planning for the new year process takes us to look at our Mission and Vision Statements.  This may sound like a pointless thing to do but it will give you a sound direction when going forward with your plan.

Mission Statement 

A mission statement tells the “why” of your business. This gives it purpose and meaning. Customers don’t necessarily buy because of your product, they buy because of why you sell it. Having a purpose can greatly influence the direction your company is heading. As part of planning for the new year, look at your mission statement and see if it matches up with the reason of why you do what you do. Often, a mission statement can change due to a change in direction, If you find that you don’t have a mission statement, I would advise you create your own.  The website BPlans  has a great article with a five step process for how to do it.

Vision Statement

A vision statement can be summed up in that it “reveals, at the highest levels, what an organization most hopes to be and achieve in the long term” (business news daily). Think of it as your long term goal or what you want your company to be. This weaves a lot of your values and direction into one sentence. A good example is Walt Disney’s vision “to make people happy”.  Short concise and to the point. Mission provides purpose while your vision provides more direction. Look at your vision statement and think about what you want your business to look like in 5-10 years. For more insight into building a vision statement, check out this article. 

Application

So you have looked over your mission and vision statement and finally have them aligned with where you want to take your company, but now what? Take these statement and pin them up in your office where you will see them every day. Then as you are planning, always keep these in the front of your mind. A good way to keep yourself on track is to ask these two questions when looking at any plan for a new year; will this help my mission, and does this reflect my business in 5-10 years?

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

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Legal Considerations for Branding Shoots

Branding shoot photographyLegal Considerations for a Branding Shoot

Branding shoots are all the craze right now and if you think about it, why shouldn’t they be? Look at the benefits they can give, from instagram photos to website images and photos for marketing campaigns. The list of reasons goes on (for a deeper look at the benefits look at our previous blog post).  They provide so much benefit and the upfront cost is very minimal compared to the benefits.  Before you make the choice to offer personal branding shoots, you really need to consider a few legal matters.

*DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, this is just my two cents based on experience*

Copyright

As photographers, we live and die by our copyright. It is the piece of paper that allows us to advertise and protect our work. Usually for non-corporate photographers (such as wedding or family), they will keep the copyright and the client gets a print release so they can print photos without needing constant permission. In branding photography, it is a little different, the client usually will want a limited copyright or commercial use agreement. This allows the client to use images how they see fit on their website, marketing campaigns, and other business related advertising. Take a look at examples from Pinterest. The client can’t keep on coming back to the photographer to ask for permission to use their images, so they structure this agreement to give them more flexibility and latitude. Above all, as the photographer, you will still keep the copyright.

The Right to Manipulate

One of the hardest things to get use to is that for personal branding sessions, some clients will want or need the ability to manipulate their photos.  This is a hard thing to get over especially if you are in the non-corporate world. You cherish those images and the thought of someone messing with them or adding filters makes you feel queasy sometimes. In branding photography, you have to give this up. The client will have to manipulate their images to fit their marketing campaign or website format. It is unrealistic to ask them to come back to us every time.

Marketing for Business

You client is going to want to use the images to market and make money. Make sure to address any monetary considerations in your contract and ensure you know how the client will use your images. This is very important because you don’t want your images being used in something that could be considered morally or ethically wrong. To get a really good base contract online, we recommend Rachel Brenk at the Law Tog.

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

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It Takes Discipline to Run a Business

It Takes Discipline to Run a Business

Have you ever looked at some people and wonder why they can get more done in a day. Have you ever looked at a competitor that just moved in and wondered how they get popular so quickly? I have one word for you to answer both of these… Discipline. In this post I will share my top suggestion for how to bring more disciple into your business.

Wake up early

One of the top things fortune 500 company CEO’s and other famous people is waking up early. It gets a jumpstart to your day and gives you an edge to everyone else. I personally wake up at 5:30AM because all of my kid are asleep and I can get some initial things done before they get up. If you look at my feed on IG, you may see us posting at that time to.

Hold your Standard

Some people may think this sounds weird but this comes in clutch when you become really busy. Sometimes we get so busy that our standards fall as we begin to focus on other priorities. The question should be do I respect my business enough to hold this standard? iIf you do then you will find the extra time or burn the midnight oil to ensure your standard does not fall. If you find yourself staying up late a lot… it might be a time to outsource.

Embrace your Weaknesses

Weaknesses can sometimes be our greatest strengths. They allow us to focus on something we are not goo dat and make it better. While it may be easier to embrace your strengths, it is better to embrace your weaknesses. When you embrace your weakness, you are acknowledging them and working to make them your strengths. This takes a lot of humility but will really help you in the end to be a better person and business owner.

Find the conclusion to this post by watching the youtube video Discipline to business success .

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

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Photographing VIP Clients

Photographing VIP Clients

So you just got a phone call that a very important (VIP) client wants to book you for a photography session. Now a VIP client can be a government official, famous author, or Hollywood elite. The important thing to know is that before you say “yes” make sure you consider some factors that might be expected of you. Below are some of our top considerations:

Copyright 

Photographers live and die by their copyright. It is the thing that lets you print your work, publish in magazines, and use it for advertising. If each client owned their images, you would not be able to show anything you do. Well, when photographing a VIP client they may ask for you to give up your copyright. This is so they can control everything that happens to the photos and there are no unnecessary leaks. If you are willing to do thins make sure the client is willing to pay for it. Your price should at least be double your normal rate to make up for lost advertising and revenue. 

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

This isn’t for every VIP client but we have found the higher the profile, the more likely you will have a NDA. This agreement outlines what you can and can’t talk about. The important thing is to make sure you read the entire thing. Sometimes they have different requirements prior to and after the photography event. Some of them are so strict that you can’t ever talk, blog, instagram, FB, or anything else. The reason for this is they want to protect the VIP from potentially any kind of public damage from something you may see while photographing them.

Fast turn-around time

After photographing you may be expected to turn the photographs around really fast. I don’t mean two days, we mean in a manner of hours. If you are not able to do it make sure you let the client know before you sign any contract. One way to assist with this is asking the client for a slight extension but this may not be possible in some instances.

Specific photographic parameters

The client may request a very specific look….. To find out the rest, hop over to our youtube channel and watch the rest of our blog post VIP Client Considerations.

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

Follow us through social media:

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– Join to our private Facebook page for special live content

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New Year Planning | Part 1

New Year Planning

The new year is right around the corner and it is time to look at your business plan for the coming year. This series is dedicated to preparing your business plan correctly and come out on top. The first part is how to do a SWOT analysis.

What is a SWOT?

SWOT (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) is a strategic analysis that business use to look at their competition and internal processes. To help best explain how to do a SWOT, lets look at each part:

Strengths

This is the easiest section to describe. Just ask yourself “what am I good at ?”. For people that are hard on their own business this may be difficult. To help make this easier I would suggest asking past clients too see what they have to say about the process. 

Weaknesses

These are weaknesses that are internal to your business. Think “what do I really need help with” or “what did I do bad at this year”. Really dig on this and think of things that can be improved in your business, not with a competitor. Focus on things you can fix because this will ensure you are being productive with your time.

Opportunities

 This is looking at the possibilities to improve on your business. A good example is education. Say for the new year a conference out of state will help you with marketing. That is an opportunity. Another opportunity could be a new vendor you want to form a relationship with. Opportunities are not internal to your business, but they are things that exist outside in your environment or in other areas of the country.

Threats

This is the stuff that keeps you up at night because it can directly harm your business. Again, these are things outside your business. Maybe a new competitor just got there and they are taking your clients or weather is really an issue year around. The big thing with threats is to neutralize them when you can and figure out work arounds for things you have little control over. DON’T IGNORE THEM!

How to implement

The first thing you have to do is wright all of these things down. The easiest way is to join our FB Private group and get our editable SWOT analysis  file. Next, subscribe to our you tube page and watch the SWOT video that goes with this blog to get the next steps to implement your SWOT  analysis to having a great next year. 

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

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IPS and Why We Made the Change

in person sales

In Person Sales (IPS) and why we Made the Change

IPS is the latest dirty word in some of the photography community. If you want to start a discussion, or argument, just say the dreaded three letter word…IPS. You will get some looks that range from “you are a weird alien from another world” to “finally someone who gets it”. As with any type of system, there are pros and cons. We have been on both sides of the discussion at different times in my photography career but let me share with you why we came back to IPS.

IPS vs Shoot and Share

For people who are like “what are you talking about?”, let me explain the two biggest selling models in Photography. The IPS model is where the photographer, after the session, will sit down with the client and try to sell their prints and other products in a direct sales session. This can be done over the internet as well.The other model is often called shoot and share because you give clients their photos digitally and then just leave them alone to decide if they want to order pictures from you or print them on their own.

Neither Model is “Correct”

What matters is that you weigh the models for what they are worth and see what is best for your business. One example is real estate photography. They are a definite shoot and share model because their clients would never buy prints or at least not very often.  Instead they usually only need digitalis to post with their clients listing on the internet. 

Clients Don’t Print Their Pictures

It still puzzles me to this day that after spending money on photography, our clients still did not have their pictures printed and were still just looking at them in digital form.  When asked why, almost all of them said that they just forgot about it and were too busy to get things printed. Jason and I thought this was crazy, but when we looked in our house we only have one picture from our vow renewal hanging.  WHY? Because, it is the one our photographer gifted us. Despite our preconceptions, this is a reality that clients just don’t have time. By using IPS you help them to get pictures on their walls.

Providing Full Service

The other reason we made the switch to the IPS model is that some clients just didn’t know what to hang on their walls. That may sound very odd but it is the absolute truth. We would get calls from clients six months after their wedding asking what print would look good on their wall, what size, and if it should be a canvas or not. Switching to an IPS model allowed us to better serve our clients and offer advice on the type of print that should hang on their walls. We found our clients really valued our opinion and in fact wanted it to help make a decision. This session also allows you to offer a full service from beginning to end without falling short.

IPS has alot of advantages but before you dive in you have to understand you either do IPS all the way or don’t do it at all. One of the biggest complaints we get is that no one wants to buy picture any more. I completely disagree. A good example is Shutterfly, according to their Q2 2018 report their consumer segment made $165 million. So people want pictures they are just not buying them with you.

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

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YouTube channel. 

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Why You Need a Personal Branding Shoot

Personal Branding ShootWhy you need a Personal Branding Shoot

Are you finding your Instagram feed is looking off ? Are you that person that if I say I looked at your website the first thing you say is…”I haven’t updated that thing in so long”. . . . Not sure if you are sending the right message to your ideal client? If you are asking these questions, you probably need a personal branding shoot.

Styled Shoot vs Branding Shoot

So a branding shoot is a personalized shoot that is specific to YOUR Brand. Why is this important? Many photographers will do something called a styled shoot and call it a branding shoot. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!! A styled shoot is a group of vendors who come together to produce a mock wedding or other event. These shoots are great for showing off a space and its potential but sometimes not so great for personal branding. Reason being is that you have multiple vendors with multiple styles producing one product. These multiple styles might not exactly match your brand.

Personal Branding to the Rescue

While a styled shoot has its purpose, personal branding is tailored to YOU and not anyone else. The images that are produced are artistically designed by you and edited to fit your style and brand. Notice how I keep saying YOUR brand. This is the key difference between personal branding and a styled shoot. The photographer adjusts their photography and editing style to fit your brand and NOT THEIRS. In the end, you will have pictures for your website and Instagram you can post immediately that are consistent and match you.

Benefits

We recommend you do a personal branding shoot about every six months. This way, you keep on having fresh content and your website images are always up to date. The biggest benefit to doing a personal branding shoot is the TIME YOU SAVE. It only takes about three hours and you will get at least six months worth of branded content for your Instagram feed and your website. How long doe sit take you now to produce your content? If you are interested in a personal branding shoot… Contact us.

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

Pure Drive to Succeed

Succeed Through Pure Drive

While most of my posts are usually directed at giving information to improve your business, I wanted too address one aspect that most creative business owners lose after a few years, your DRIVE. Businesses are not successful through a good short game, they are successful over the long term and the ones who take the most risk usually succeed more.  It takes pure drive to…

Think Outside the Box

Creativity, ingenuity, and innovation are the things that drive businesses to stand out above all other ones. It’s not just how much time you spend working on your business, it’s what you do with that time to make your business stand out above all others. What are you doing with your time, checking facebook, checking your email, checking instagram? While your doing that, another business is perfecting their sales position or educating themselves to be better at what they do. In the short run that might not make much difference, but over time they will get better and better to eventually take you out of your market.

Ask for Help

When you are so desperate and at your whits end why won’t businesses ask for help? I think its because they don’t want to hear the true answer. Deep down they know why they are failing, but don’t want to actually admit they have a problem. This is a classic example of the inward mindset. What makes this mindset so pervasive and destructive is that your justification becomes more important than your own success or happiness. The owner that isn’t afraid to ask for help or advice is focused not on their justification but on their business and driving towards success.

To be Educated

“I don’t have time for that”. Why is it that education always falls by the way side. You have to constantly want to be educated and grow smarter. Your mind should be a sponge looking for anything that will give you that edge. In fact a study of 1,200 successful people found they all have reading as a past time. But, it’s not just reading, it’s the fact that they are selective about what they read. They are choosing to be educated versus being entertained. When do you read? Whenever I get the chance. Doesn’t matter if its 5AM or 10 PM; knowledge is like compound interest, it can build every day. How many of us are really driven to pick up a book every day?

Never be comfortable with your business!

 Always be on edge and scared as hell that it can be taken away at any minute. Do you have the drive to do what it takes…?

Let’s Stay Connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Video to Succeed

Video is a Must to Succeed

If you haven’t already . . . you must incorporate video in order to stay with the current marketing trends.  I know that is a pretty bold statement but it is the absolute truth. Most of the younger business owners have grasped this concept but older businesses are really having issues truly understanding how important video is going to become. In addition, we hear from a lot of business owners that “we have time before it becomes truly necessary”. Folks, I am here to tell you we don’t. In fact as of next year (YES!! 2019)  80 percent of marketing will contain video.

More Evidence

Just in case you still don’t believe me here are some more facts from Forbes:

  • 90 percent of consumers indicate product videos directly inform purchase decisions.
  • 92 percent of videos viewed via mobile are shared compared to other modes of access.
  • 95 percent of consumers retain communicated information through video, while only 10 percent retain information from reading.
  • Companies utilizing video content experience a 41 percent increase in traffic through web searches compared to others who don’t include video in their content strategies.
  • Video offers the best return on investment, as 51.9 percent of marketing experts agree. 

How do I Start Using Video

In order to get started I believe you have to know where your traffic is viewing your videos.  In that same article from Forbes, they gave a perspective of where consumers connect directly with branded video daily: “49 percent on Facebook, 32 percent on YouTube, 24 percent on Instagram, 22 percent on Snapchat and 22 percent on Twitter.” This indicates you should focus a lot on facebook, but I don’t think that holds true. As the market becomes more in tune with video marketing I think you will see percentages rise in every social media platform till it settles out.

Tips for Video

Now that you see how important video content is what can you start filming? Well, I would NOT invest in any equipment as of yet (that is another blog post). Keep it simple, just use your Iphone. The phones of today give great quality video and sound. Some good ideas to get you started on your videoing journey are:

  • Video blogs about the content you are posting
  • taking videos of behind the scenes on location
  • tips for every day (parenting, business, etc.)
  • anything that interests you.

This will take time but the important thing is to never stop trying or recording.

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

Marketing Tech Tools

tech tools we love for marketingMarketing Tech Tools

We are huge proponents of outsourcing just about anything. The more we outsource the more brain power we can divert to growing our business. This philosophy took years of painful learning and sleepless nights. When I look back on it, though, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Sometimes the lessons we learn from our failures and struggles prepare us far better than our successes.

Tech Tools

One of the areas that took us the longest to outsource and automate is marketing. Marketing is a very complex beast and the more you can outsource and automate the better off your business will run. Below are a few of our outsourcing tools we use to help our marketing platform.

Meet Edgar

How long do you spend writing blog posts? For us, we spend about two hours a week writing posts for both websites. Do you know how much of your target audience actually reads your post when it is published? According to Meet Edgar less than 25% of your target audience will read your blog post the initial time it is released. Meet Edgar actually allows you to plan and recycle blog posts so that you reach more people and maximize your content. This tool has proven to be the most helpful tool in our arsenal. All you have to do is categorize your content, schedule it, and the meet Edgar algorithm will put out content based on its creation date. It literally is that easy!

Planoly

Instagram is proving to get as much traffic and interaction as facebook. The problem we have is that it takes a lot of time to publish things from just my phone. All of that thumb typing is a pain. Well, Planoly allows us to actually plan posts on Instagram from the convenience of my computer. When it is time to post, I get a reminder on my phone and within seconds my post is complete.

Kate Max Stock

This is the newest tool in our arsenal. When we would publish blogs or videos on YouTube we would always need a cover image. Sometimes our cover images would not look that great so we decided to do our own stock photography to get images we wanted. Do you know how long it takes to produce stock images? It takes a long time and the amount of stuff you have to buy to produce the images sometimes can be very costly. There are other sites that do the same thing of selling stock photography, but we found Kate Max fits our style the best. You have two options to either buy one stock image at a time or a membership for a year and you are able to download as much as you want. Considering how much we use stock images, we went with a yearly membership and have absolutely loved it. The other nice thing about this service is that new stock photos are added every month so there is always new content.

17 Hats

This one has been the biggest game changer in our lives.  We started using 17 Hats a few years ago when the amount of clients we had was really increasing and in order to keep up we needed a client management system that also helped us automate our workflow and offer a more consistent experience for our clients.

Let’s stay connected

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Do you want to dive deeper into how to be successful in new markets or are relocating your business and need some help? Come join our course Break into a New Market.

If you want to stay up to date, subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest content and request access to our private Facebook page for special live content. In addition, to view all of our videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel. 

Hello & Welcome

Exhausted from trying to break into a new market and have no idea what needs to be done to keep your creative business growing?  You are in the right place, friend!

The Restart Specialist was born out of our constant nomadic life and the search for answers on relocating a business without fear. I am so excited your here. Pull up a chair, settle in with a good cup of coffee and lets get started.

  

  

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