Hi, yes, I'm still here.
I haven't posted in a while, as it has been a season. I've been searching for ways to better serve you... with mixed results on my progress. I'm sharing here for your information and my... what's the term?... hope that this is cathartic in some way? This is your warning that if you don't want to see my brain dump on the last three months that you might want to skip this post. If you're a small business owner / solopreneur or just nosey / super curious about where my brain is right now, feel free to read on.
I had stopped my blog posts as I was planning to change hosting platforms for my website. It turns out that this particular platform does not allow for easy transitions, so I hired not one, but two people to scrape that copy for me, thinking I could repurpose it into helpful e-books / guides. The first person took six weeks to do nothing, while the second took four weeks to put everything into 285 individual documents, rather than into a useful one-document-per-keyword / topic format. By the time this process was up, my website was renewed for a year... so here we are... still. I'll try to do a refresh soon, when I get some bandwidth back. I have a third person now working on converting some of those documents into the format I originally requested, and blog posts will start back here again soon.
I've also got on my project list a helpful email series based on a lot of that blog information. I reached out recently to reconnect with those on my mailing list... but then hit a bump in the road. There's another 2024 goal for you.
Some of the other in-process upgrades I've been working on include access to my calendar to easily schedule a Zoom-based consultation anytime you're interested in learning more about some aspect of my business... or just to share some networking time together. That piece appears to be working. I also provided access to schedule in-person studio Simple Sessions. While the calendar feature is working, the automation process was supposed to also lead you through contracting and payment... and that appears to have disappeared from my platform. Don't know where it went but hopefully I’ll figure that out soon... again.
I also signed up for a mentoring program that has turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. In speaking with the sales guy (yeah, I know) it sounded like there might be some assistance in tying together all of the multitude of pieces of running a photography business into a smooth-running system. I've piecemealed this together for 13 years, albeit part time, so maybe there is a defined way to make these processes easier and less clunky feeling. What I got was a list of the multitude of things that are required to run a photography business. I have listened to hours and hours of educational content hoping for some golden nuggets. I have shared several conversations with my assigned mentor. Nothing was tied together. There is no pretty, shiny bow that will make this any easier than what I've already learned elsewhere. I'm sick at having to make this last payment on the "program," but I don't want to lose access to what I’ve already got. I'm still hoping new pieces come along to enhance this.
One of the things my mentor really pushed me to do is to raise my prices across the board. That said, it did force me to take a harder look at how much time is dedicated to each session, so those fees will increase. I do and will continue to earn those fees and will clarify my processes so that they are easy to understand. However, I cannot justify raising other prices significantly higher than they already are. I'll be finishing up my supplier pricing review and have a new the product guide available in a few days.
I'm also in the early phases of putting together a mastermind / networking group for women entrepreneurs in Amherst County. This came about through a convergence of a few different ideas. Michelle was looking for additional support in the form of people to bounce ideas off of and help each other, Cindy is looking to grow her business coaching skills, and I have been in the process of creating a workshop on personal branding. We've mashed it all together and we'll kick off this new group in mid-February, with each every-other-week meeting having a main topic presentation followed by roundtable discussion and problem-solving / collaboration. Watch my socials for details.
All of this is going on during the busy fall session season, delivery of portraits from the first Over 50 exhibition, obligatory family travel for Thanksgiving, all the things around Christmas (yes, including a few parties)… toss in a brief illness or two… nonprofit and volunteer activities….
So, I've taken some time over the last week during this “Betwixtmas” to reflect and figure out where to go next. I usually don't make resolutions or set goals so much as I choose a “word of the year” to serve as a guidepost.
This year, I have resolutions.
Follow along. Better yet, come see me in action.
Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!