Dearest Creative Folk,
Many people ask me how I have managed to always do what I love in my photography business and do it with the people I love!
I attribute many things to having a successful business and these are my top ten.
Start with what you love
I have always start with the type of creativity or photography that excites me. Something that I want to wake up and do every day. Having that level of love and excitement on a daily basis has propelled me to continue over a period of 17 years. When I became tired of something I re-calibrated by finding something that would ignite that excitement and love again. And when I have that, look out world I am unstoppable.
Have the intention to give more than you receive
I remember my first job in Spain when I finally had a commission from Qantas magazine, I was given a certain number of rolls of film a day to get the job done. But it was my first job and I didn’t want to screw up so I went out and bought double the amount and some more! There was no way I was going to let money get in the way of me doing a great job. I over shot, I over delivered and they became one of my best clients for the following 8 years.
Do an Amazing Job
This seems so obvious but I try and visualize the job even before I have done it. I create checklists, I scout, I ask questions, I research my location and my client and when I turn up on the day I give 1000% percent. I am all yours, there are no cell phones, no checking my Instagram every two minutes and I keep shooting till I have what I have promised and more.
Be You – Tell It as it is
If you have the courage to let the world see who you are you will attract the most AMAZING customers and work with your dream clients. Whatever I promise, I deliver. I spent too long in my former life pretending to be someone I wasn’t. Now I can look anyone in the eye and tell them as it is. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong, if I have a better Idea I say it, if the light won’t work I tell them and I always have an alternative. That goes for my voice on the blog and social media. It’s the way I truly think and believe.
You need 10 years
I have started 2 successful businesses from scratch and in the early years you are laying the foundation, one that lasted 13 years and this one that is now in its 17th year. The beginning is like building a two storey house, you dig a hole, you lay the foundations, you lay the bricks, you get all the electricity and water connected and you get the walls up and the roof on. You can move in but it takes time to have the furniture you want, the pool finished, the barebecue fired up and the art of the wall. Then one day around the 10 year mark you look around and the kids are on their flamingo floaties all grown up, the second storey is completed the trees are big and strong and have matured, creating and shade and you can sit back on the pool chair and look around and see where all your work has gone. If you don’t love what you are doing enough to do it for the next 10 years you might be in the wrong business and have patience, houses and businesses take time and love !
Service, Service, Service
There is one amazing thing that will keep you in business and that is looking after your clients and doing what you say you will do. I had the chance to see a business THAT DIDN’T WORK many years ago. They would get new clients woo them and when they had signed them up almost forget about them, give them crap service whilst they went off chasing a new one. The most valuable lesson I have learned is to look after the people, sales and clients you have right NOW. DO THE BEST JOB YOU CAN TODAY and those people will become clients possibly forever.
Be ‘All In’
Now I don’t mean working 24/7 but I do mean have the fire in your belly kind of ‘All In’. Ask yourself is there something more you can do? When you think you have done everything to make something work, is there something you have overlooked? Have you really done EVERYTHING? Is there a person you could reach out to, an email you could write that might be the one thing that sparks a revolution. All in means ‘All In’!
Don’t Be Everything To Everyone
If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times. Pick your niche and stick with it. The minute you run around town or the internet promising to do it all, you will exhaust yourself, show your client your AREN’T an expert and end up resenting what you do. You need to drive this ship baby!
If You Make A Mistake Deal With It Straight Away
In business and life there are bound to be things that go wrong. If you make a mistake or can’t deliver on time address it IMMEDIATELY. Tell your client the truth and make a way to make it up to them. Turn a possibly bad situation into a good one but showing them your honesty and integrity and that you value them.
The universe is watching, listening and feeling and if you show true gratitude for all you have they will send more goodness your way. Every client, every job, every trip, every book, every magazine has always felt like a miracle to me and I try and take time always to remember how fortunate I am. I will be forever that girl riding across the Ponte Vecchio pulling up my bike to receive my first call from an English magazine to go do a shoot in Tuscany. For me then and there, life gave me a miracle and remember looking skyward and saying thanks. Gratitude is the biz.
I hope you enjoyed these tips.. If you would like to leave me a comment you can do it on my Instagram profile HERE.