As we travel through the slow season, let's explore how to use holiday periods to our advantage.
We'll unwrap some vital tips for turnarounds during these seasons and how they can set you up for success. Get an exclusive glimpse into my signature program, The Wedding CEO.
This program aims to catapult your wedding photography business to 100k. It's time to invest in yourself, avoid years of aimless trial and error, and drive your business forward like a true CEO. So, tune in and kick start your journey towards smarter business decisions, accountability, and growth.
🤑 Join my Free Masterclass: How to make $100k as a wedding photographer with half of your weekends free. In this free class, you will learn how we help female wedding photographers master the art of sales without having to book more than 20 weddings a year.
See you there on 2/22 at 12 PM ET
Welcome to the Wedding CEO podcast, where we discuss all things marketing, sales and scaling so you can become the CEO of your life and business. I'm Elora Rochelle and I've been a wedding photographer for over a decade and now I'm sharing all of my secrets so you can stop sacrificing your time and make more money like a CEO. Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode. Let's talk about the real reason why you clicked this episode Slow season. It's finally here, and here's five things that you must do. This is the five things that I always do at the end of the year. I'm very much like okay, let's reflect on everything we did right, maybe things we could improve on, and what we're going to be leaving behind. The first thing I would definitely say is to look at your stats and make a plan for the next year. I'm already doing this. I already have two full focus planners right in front of me and I've already printed out my new laminated yearly calendar, and I'm going to start planning my quarters on my iPad now, so I have the worksheet on there and I'll just keep saving them digitally, because I write better on my iPad with the pencil, which Eli broke the tip, so I'm actually waiting on Amazon right now to bring me my tip on my pencil so I can actually use it. It's been crazy, guys. Just what is life, anyway? So look at your stats. A good business owner knows their numbers. If you know what you did and didn't work, then you can plan for the future and make sure to do more of or less of that thing Basically, so you're not complacent and staying in the same place or doing the same thing over and over and wondering why you're not seeing growth, why you're not getting results or why you keep feeling stuck. There is nothing that stresses me out more. For any business, whether it's new, old or seasoned, them not knowing what their plans are, I'm just like, okay, well, what's your business plan? And it doesn't have to be like, oh, in 10 years I see myself here, here and there. It's not that at all, but it's just like, oh, yeah, by the end of this year I want to do X, or you know what I mean? Just like something really basic that you're working towards and it kind of keeps you accountable to that. So, anyway, stagnant, I hate it. I suggest you don't do it, because it's just a waste of time being in the same place. I don't know how. How can 12 months go by and you're in the exact same place that you were last year? Like I'm just going to be your kind but firm business coach and say make a plan, let's be intentional, because if you don't run your business, it's going to run, you guaranteed. It's like if you don't make a plan, you plan to fail. Unfortunately, it's true. I know some of these are really cliche. We all are sick of hearing them, aren't we? But it's important. Look at your stats, look at your contact form, look at what people are saying they're finding you from, maybe like your referral base. If you have HoneyBook, it'll kind of tell you a lot how many inquiries booked and then how much revenue you made, how much revenue you still have to make, how much cash you collected. These are all really really important things, which kind of continues into number two, which is calculate your profit versus expenses. As a photographer, once you get over to the hump of that's too expensive when you're buying your first $3,000 lens or $5,000 camera, you start to get in the habit of over-investing inside of your business. I just want that to sink in for a minute. Why am I saying this? Hear me out Done is better than perfect. So 99% of the time, 99.1% of the time, you don't really need a brand new camera and you probably don't need a brand new lens. You really don't need another lens. That's probably going to sit on the shelf. Do you know how many times I bought lenses that I never used? But just because I heard someone on YouTube tell me to buy it and it was a must-have, and I used their affiliate link to purchase it Rant, rant. Okay, I will not even follow that one. Basically figure out how much money you're spending versus how much money you're making and then you can actually figure out if you can afford to stay in business. This is like I don't like surprises. I'm the kind of person if you didn't get it from me, like having a whole a rant about planning is like I believe in knowing exactly what's going on all the time, whether I budgeted for this amount or I am spending this amount, but I have this much coming in. Does that make sense? Is that going to move the needle forward? Can it wait? Needed to bring the business success and growth. If not, maybe filter out the noise, put your head down and start making smarter business decisions. Your profits will thank you later. There's no use like even being in business if you're making side hustle money but you're like I'm a business owner but I don't profit anything, but it's fine. Because I'm a business owner, I have an LLC. That's why I'm official. There's so much more to it than having an LLC and an EIN. Okay, now number three. Now this may seem counterintuitive, because I just talked about your expenses, but invest in your education. If you don't want to be in the same place that you were in the previous year, in the years before, or if you just got started and you're ready to hit the ground running, this is probably the perfect time to make the investment, so you can skip two to three to five years of chasing your tail and hoping you find the answer. So that's just something I've learned. I mean, right now I'm looking for a business coach for 2023 and I'm doing a lot of research on all the things that I need improvement on and things that I can probably scale beyond what I can currently imagine, and so I think it's important that everybody does this, whether it's a course, even if it's a free class, like somehow investing whether it's your time or your money in some sort of education, because you need to be accountable to someone that has actually been successfully in your place previously. I'm actually going to go off script here a little bit and be like also check the receipts. There are so many people and I've just been seeing in forums on social media, whatever where they make really really big investments and coaches, and I mean they're upset and I get it like spending money is a crazy thing. It's a lot, you know, you make it, you hold it dear and then you have to spend it, you have to give it away to make more whatever. But when I did the research on the person that they were speaking about, the person didn't have testimonials. The person just had really good brand messaging and really good sales copy. Like really really good sales copy. Like I'm talking sales psychology, pain points all over the place. You would feel as if they were speaking directly to you. But they had, like, let's say, they had an Instagram account and they didn't have very many followers, but they had really good sales copy and they were telling you how to make money on Instagram. But then their tactics didn't work. And so all I'm saying is like read the receipts, do the research, listen to a podcast. Make sure you like the way this person talks, because they're going to be talking to you forever. How long you invest in them. Also, pick somebody that you actually look up to their lifestyle Like. A lot of people will invest in a coach and they kind of don't really like the way they live, but they like what they're saying. So that's another thing too, because they're only going to teach you what their life represents, what they already know, what success they've been able to give themselves. So make sure that if this is somebody you're going to invest in, that they actually have the life that you want to live, and if not, probably look elsewhere. I feel like now more than ever, there are so many ways of seeking education there have ever been ever. Most of us only had like YouTube or really high ticket offers, or actually they just weren't mentors. Honestly, back then we were kind of left on our own. Google and everyone's blogs was basically our friend. But think about the life that you want 12 months from now and what it's going to take to get there. Where do you see yourself this time, next year or not, maybe even like halfway through. If that's too far, it's like for me, I know I want to feel a certain way, I want to have my system set up a certain way and that's what success is to me. I don't have like a really complicated life that I want to live. I really believe in less is more. So this is why in the wedding CEO, we do a plan your year masterclass in January so we can literally lay out what's worked, what didn't, and then we can also plan their future offer sessions, services, launch plans, courses, anything for the entire year that they want to launch. And so we have it like broken down in this Google doc. That's like super fun and they can kind of brainstorm like, oh, in January I want to do this, in February it makes sense to do this, and so on and so forth. I like to consider myself like a type B person, like type B slash a little bit of A, like it's hard to explain, like I really do take it easy and I do like to chill, but I like to strategically plan so that I can be chill and laid back. Nobody wants to be around somebody that's always freaking out about something, at least for me. I'm just like whoa your anxiety's giving me anxiety. Number four look at your brand and website okay. Are you happy with it? Does the design feel dated and wonky? Does it even represent you right now, the new version of you, like every year? I think it's so smart to give yourself a website refresh, a brand messaging refresh, and make sure that you're speaking exactly to the people you want to attract. You're showcasing the best brand image. This may blow your mind, but your website is your storefront. So think about when you walk into a store. You notice the layout, the products, the pricing and, if you're like me, the first thing I look at is the branding, which is why I love Target brands so much, because every one of their brands have like a very strategic market they're trying to attract, and so I actually use Target a lot to kind of see oh okay, this is more of like a modern, like boho, more of like an organic brand and everything is very clean. It's like it's very interesting to kind of see how branding and the messaging and how everything is looking can speak to people. It's not just about what they're saying, so, but anyway, from the messaging to the call to actions on your website, every single thing should be strategic. Every single thing Like it should be taking them to a specific place that you actually want them to go, not like, oh, I need three pages like my home, about in contact and those books. It's fine and maybe that's the case, but that doesn't work for the rest of us. Okay, most of us actually have to work for what we want and you know, clients are just flying at the shelves like, oh my gosh, I need to work with you. I love you so much, I don't care how I find you, I just need to find you, especially if you want to charge more. If you want to charge more and differentiate yourself from the noise, then you're going to have to level up. Sorry, babe, love ya. Facts are facts. So if you want to get off the hamster wheel, you got to be able to learn how to book less, get paid more, have a stronger brand presence, have a better messaging and also just make sure you're happy with how everything looks. Is your business brand exactly what you want it to look like? Is it attracting the people you want? If not, then maybe now is the best time, from December, january, february, march, especially during the new engagement season that happens during the entire holiday spree this is the perfect time to put your head down and start making those tweaks. Now the last one, number five. Look at all the images that you share everywhere. Sometimes I cringe when I Google myself and see the images from like 2017, 2018. Regardless, you need to look at the images that are popping up when people search your business name. Is it just so you can post something and feel like something was posted, or is it intentional images of what you want to attract more? If the answer is, I'm going to post something, so I feel like I did something. Update them Update them now. Trash the old and end with the new. Round up your best of images At the end of the year. This is actually. I used to make this a thing. I used to call it like the best of weddings or something, and at the end of the year, I would go through all of my sessions in photomechanic and I would just like take a couple minutes per wedding and just like round up my best 20 or 50 or so and then call them even more images. And then I would make a big blog post and, honestly, it helped a lot. My clients shared it everywhere because they were so honored to be featured in this blog post, so it kind of felt like a marketing movement, if you will, but these were the images that I wanted to showcase to attract more clients that appreciated what I was putting out there. So if you can think about a way to be strategic in every single thing that you're doing in your business, it'll be successful. It's like you can't turn your brain off. Honestly, I hate it. I wish I could turn my strategic brain off, sometimes like after five, six o'clock, but like if I hear something, I'm like that's interesting, how could that translate to business? And I'm like oh, so that is some tips that I think are going to serve you through this entire holiday season. While everybody's slowing down. Everybody is so excited that the year is coming to a close, we're all so inspired for the new year. We're really excited about the possibility and I promise you, if you do all of these five things during slow season this is like long game tactics here it will pay off. I promise you. Wait, don't go yet. If you love today's episode, I would love if you took five seconds to leave a rating and a five star review. If you do, send me a DM so I can give you a virtual hug and, of course, a shout out Now. If you're ready to grow your photography business, I invite you to join the waitlist for the wedding CEO. The wedding CEO is my signature program for wedding photographers who are ready to scale their way to 100k. You're finally ready to work less, make more and live your dream life. If you've seen my Instagram, then you know we have students making five bigger months, launching their dream brands, doubling their prices, taking vacations and more, which are lifetime skills that you can take with you even if you decide to leave the industry. Join the waitlist for when we open the doors on November 14th to the waitlist only, and you're going to get an exclusive, advanced private training on how to scale to 100k, booking less than 20 weddings a year. And, trust me, you don't want to miss this Link in the show notes. I'll see you inside.