In this podcast episode, Alora discusses her trend predictions for wedding photographers in 2024.
One trend is that of a 'soft CEO life', which balances personal life aspects with the flexibility of entrepreneurship, and a move away from 'hustle culture'.
Other anticipated trends include seeking business simplicity, endorsing authentic creativity, accurately identifying dream clients and fostering a community spirit over solo entrepreneurship.
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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 Alora Rachelle, 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.
Alright, you guys, welcome to another episode on The Wedding CEO Podcast. In this episode, we're going to be diving into my Trend Predictions, Ins and Outs of 2024 for Wedding Photographers.
So we're just gonna get right into it. Because why not? I've had a couple of rambly episodes, and I think I got them all out of my system, especially my 12 year wedding industry reflection episode, if you haven't listened to that, check it out, if you want to hear my entire journey from start to finish.
So ins and outs...
The first in I'm going to say, is the soft CEO life. I did an episode on this and how I think it's going to be the next big thing, I kind of created it, I hope it's not a thing, I need to trademark it. I wish I could have not done it before I released it to the public. But anyway, for this soft CEO life, I feel like people want the balance of the soft life, but also the balance of having the flexibility of entrepreneurship. So what I mean is less hustle culture, which I'm going to say whatever's out is hustle culture. We've seen it, we've seen the movement, and it has not done us well. A lot of us have burned out chasing this dream that also feels so close, and also so unobtainable. I have been in the deep dives of Reddit and all of the industry leaders and people that I have looked up to since 2019, have really opened my eyes to where all the roads lead back to and let me tell you, my mind was blown last night at midnight, trying to understand that I had been sold a lie for a long time. So I am taking all the information and instead of grieving about how I feel scammed in many ways, I'm just going to make my own vision for my life. So soft CEO for me is being able to do all the things I want to do in my personal life, have a vacation, bake awesome goodies, be present for my kids, while also running a business that brings me joy, creativity, makes a difference, builds a movement, helps my clients make money. That is literally all I want to do. It brings me so much joy every single time one of my clients DM me and say, Oh my gosh, Laura, I booked like six inquiries today. The serotonin that hits my brain, when I know that I have taught my clients how to make money forever— Oh, it's just the best feeling! I could be a wedding photographer and keep this information for myself. But letting go of that part of my life and just giving them everything. I don't feel competitive about it. I don't gatekeep anything. I just feel like all my students are my kids, I'm just like, here you go, whatever you need, just let me know, you want something? We'll build a workbook for that, we'll do this, we'll do that, we're going to do a training, we're going to do a challenge.
So 2024 for The Wedding CEO is going to be incredible. I'm actually working on the curriculum, right now, we're going to be coming up with some new concepts, we're going to do this thing called sales school live, which is gonna be great. Literally live, we're going to figure out how to overcome our couples objections when we get on a sales call with them. So we're going to be brainstorming it, we're gonna be writing it out, we're going to be acting like the client versus the photographer, and figuring out how to overcome all of their objections. It's just fun, it's going to be like a live workshop. We're doing a lot of live workshops and I'm brainstorming them now. We're also going to do something called the content creative, where we're gonna figure out how to create content for the next 30 days. If you're really a superstar, 60 to 90 days, and just like 30 minutes, and it's gonna be so fun. We're gonna be doing it using their brand stories, and we're gonna be creating that stuff live. We're gonna be doing a lot of live workshops and that is my secret sauce. I love teaching strategy. I love teaching how to get something done in less time, it's going to be a good time!
Okay, so the next in is going to be more freedom, more weekends. I do think that everybody is tired. This kind of leans back I think into hustle culture of dedicating all of their weekends, and having to say no to everything. Now, if you're the kind of person who loves to work a lot, and you're like, that's not a big deal to me, like I'm super young, and I don't have anything to commit to, that's fine, but eventually, at least for me. I was at a point very early on in my business where I was like, I don't know anyone in my life anymore, because I haven't been to anything. I miss everything, and I'm sick of it. So I do think that people want more freedom, more weekends, more time, more fun, and that's my prediction. I do think something else sets in is having a simple business. So right now, I know a lot of photographers want to get into the education industry. When you get into the industry, a lot of them burnout I've listened to a lot of podcasts have like very popular famous photographers that dove into the education industry and offered every single thing and they quit or ate them up. They were like this too much. So I like to teach having a simple business because I have done that too. But I also stayed in the space because I don't like giving up even if I'm overwhelmed and stressed, I don't give up anything, which is kind of annoying. I'm like, oh, there must be a better way. But having a simple business and doing one offering at a time, like say you're a wedding photographer, and you want to grow an associate team, maybe focus on that team and not build an online course. Because unless you have somebody guiding you like one on one, I think if you have somebody guiding you and helping you lay out and being like, nope, if you do this, this is going to happen next. You want someone to help you plan out the future and not just be like, this is a great idea, I'm gonna do this, and then you get into it, and you're like, Ah, this is not sustainable. Then having to quit everything and just being like, Oh, I feel like I can't finish my tasks is like simple business, always. That's something we'll be diving into more in my one on one coaching.
If you fill out the form in the show notes to work with me, we can definitely help you lay out your next steps or if you just want support in general on any things like your team, building your first offer, maybe launching a workshop, anything that involves photography or online business, I am available, and we can definitely help you in our three month or six month container. It'll be so easy. It'll be so fun, and you'll be supported. I'm just going to tell it like it is, which is what you want, I'm not going to fluff I'm not going to make you waste your time, if you know anything about me on this podcast. So this your first episode, I do not like to waste time, let's get straight into it, you're going to fill out a questionnaire form and I'm just going to dive right into okay, sounds like this is what you want to do. This is what we're gonna do first, and this is how we're going to do it. So it's essentially coaching, and a VIP, and one. It's incredible. I have been brainstorming this for the past two months, and I'm so excited to be finally offering it to you guys.
The next one is going to be understanding yourself as a creative and what you want to create. This is another in that I think wedding photographers or anybody in business is going to realize that I don't want to do what everybody else is doing. I want to do it I want to do, and like shutting off the noise, maybe deleting Instagram on the weekends, or maybe deleting a social media platform that has you constantly comparing or is constantly giving you ads. I'm looking at you Facebook, looking at you Instagram.
Then what I think is out is trend chasing, less copying and more creativity. Like I said, understanding yourself as a creative. When you trend chase, when you're constantly copying what's on the rise, you're gonna realize it actually leads to unfulfillment in the long run as a creative because that's not something you actually want to do and actually want to create. You're just following the wave of excitement, right? So definitely look to yourself and just understand what you want to do and why. Understanding your why is going to be the biggest thing in this entire trend predictions, honestly, because you won't find yourself wasting time just doing everything and being like, No, I don't want to do that that's not aligned with my goals, my values, my why, my story, all those things.
The next thing is in is going to be alignment with your dream clients and knowing who your dream clients are, is going to be the biggest thing because then you're going to be able to say yes to these clients and no a mile away. They are the dream, they are fit to work with or knowing a mile away that this client was not a dream, and more clients are going to come I don't have to book this one.
So many times wedding photographers think, okay, like, I need to book like all of my inquiries.
And I'm like, do you? Because we're talking about this client and why you're upset that they didn't book but you don't even sound like you want to work with them.
They're like, okay, yeah, I was probably the venue or I just really like their aesthetic.
And I'm like, listen, there'll be another one. I promise there'll be another one. We're still early in the year. Your dream clients are going to find you if we keep making the changes and we keep making sure that we're marketing to our dream clients. They're going to come.
What I think is out personally is the luxury market rave, I think it's going to slow down. I have my opinions on the luxury market and I have seen different sides. I also think that the luxury market has a lot of nuances. I think that there's not a one type fits all celebrity client. I think ultimately your luxury market is just you with 10 times the amount of money and income right? Like my clients were almost always like me, almost always, we had a good time we were sarcastic, we take ourselves seriously. But we had really good tastes in fashion, details, and decor, it was always a really good aesthetic, right? But they weren't necessarily clients that were Doctors or clients that were Lawyers. My clients were either entrepreneurs, or they had some type of creative background, which is really funny, because I feel like as creatives, we just don't really take anything serious, like, we're just like, go with the flow, whatevs, you know. But that was my dream client and my luxury market was just me raising my prices, essentially, I think what people think the luxury market is you have to charge 15 grand, and it's going to be a castle wedding, or it's going to be a celebrity. I just don't think that's always the case. I think some of these photographers are going to work with those clients or second shoot for somebody who has these clients and be like, I don't know if that's my dream client.
I do think that goes in hand with aligning and understanding with your dream clients and chasing the dollar less like contentment, versus millionaire mentality is like, I'm actually okay with this client even though I'm not making $20,000 in a wedding. I love my clients, I love the images, I had fun, it was a great wedding, I made good images, I felt fulfilled, like I feel fulfillment, and is going to be more where people are looking when they're booking weddings.
Then another in I think, is more community and less lone wolf. I think after the pandemic, we were all desperate for community. We just wanted to be around people, which is why I think Clubhouse grew so fast, because we could talk to people daily, we could meet people daily, that were in our similar circles that were in our business. That were just creatives in general, it didn't even matter. Like if we had the same niche or not. It was like, Hey, you're a creative. I'm a creative. We're entrepreneurs. Let's just talk about it. I think after that, after Clubhouse kind of fizzled, people still want more community. A lot of times like, at least for The Wedding CEO why people are constantly resigning or like rejoining is because they want the community. I mean, I'm sure they like me, but they love the community more than they like me, which is fine. But I love it because I love that they help each other out and somebody will ask the question, everybody's like, Oh, this is what I'm doing. This is not what I'm doing. They only asked us questions, if it has to do with the curriculum, which I think is great, I think it's perfect to have a balance of both being like, these are my wedding besties and we're all kind of in the same level doing the same thing. So I do think people are leaning more towards aligned community with similar lifestyles and goals, and less doing it on their own alone. I just don't think this is what humans were created to do. I don't think we were created to do everything by ourselves, we are created for community, the whole. It takes a village to raise kids and everything that we do is always community based. I think that the last bits of lone wolves are going to give in and realize that they need a community and they're probably going to join one. I hope they do because I think we are so much better together.
Now another out that I'm going to say is less brand shape shifting, which is couples aren't just taking your brand at face value anymore. I think standing out is the New Black, personally. I say this all the time in the program, but the only thing that makes you comparable to another wedding photographer is going to be price and the way that you look. If you have the same exact images, the same exact style, the same exact as somebody else in the industry, they're not going to feel compelled to want to work with you. It's not unique enough, you don't stand out. So why don't I get somebody cheaper with the exact same look as you is what clients are thinking. I also think that your message is going to be the new sales strategy. I do think that clients want to feel connected to you. They want to feel connected to your vision, to your style, and to your passion. I think that's ultimately going to be a sales strategy on top of of course, booking them on the call. Then I also think that your portfolio just can't be thrown together anymore. People don't want to see inconsistency and editing and consistency in images. I think clients want to know that they're gonna get what they're looking at. They want to get the images that the photographer is showcasing and so you can't just throw something together and be like, these are my best images. You know, I mean, unless your documentary. I've restored is uniquely told documentary wise, but in terms of like posing, I think some clients want to know they're gonna get certain images and they'll probably ask if they're if they don't see it.
I also think what's in is going to be more Instagram breaks and sabbaticals. I think people are tired of feeling pressured to show up and create 24/7. People are tired. I've noticed the rise and like faceless reels and faceless content, and let me tell you, I am here for it, I cannot wait to get on that train, that's something I actually want to do is create faceless content. Even though I have these puffy sausage fingers. We're gonna make it work, y'all.
I think another thing that is in is going to be more SEO and long term marketing. I think every single time SEO is going to pay off, but it's nice to start the fire now instead of posting a blog and wondering why it's not converting, I think you need to do both. You need to do SEO, and then pick one platform where you do some easy short form content, you know, but I do think everyone needs to build their house on the long term marketing foundation on the SEO train, which is interesting, because I noticed that and I was already thinking about this like a while ago was like, okay, I want to start blogging, I haven't blogged in a long time. I haven't blogged any of my podcasts. So we're going to catch up on all those and get all that stuff set up. I'm like, I really want to try some new things this year. I want to play around with marketing. I want to have fun with it. I don't want to feel obligated. So if I'm doing Instagram, it's because I wanted to, not because I feel like I have to think the energy is different, I think my content is different, than when I'm like oh let me post an Instagram or oh, let me do this. It's like, okay, let me make this fun. Let me find a way that I can build brand pillars that make me want to share.
That is everything in the kitchen sink y'all. These are my Trend Predictions, my Ins and Outs for 2024. Let me know if you agree with them. Feel free to DM me on Instagram. And I can't wait to see you in the next episode. Bye!
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