Hello CEO: Wedding Photography Podcast

How to Plan Strategically During Slow Season

December 27, 2021 Season 4 Episode 48
Hello CEO: Wedding Photography Podcast
How to Plan Strategically During Slow Season
Show Notes Transcript

In order to make a vision board, you need to plan. If you don't plan, then you plan to fail.

What do you want to make next year?
Great. Now, make a strategy in order to envision that.

How many weddings, mentorships, and portraits sessions do you need to book in order to get there? It's less scary when you break things down like this.
Press play now and let's plan to supersede our goals for 2022!


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xx —Alora

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Hello, everybody and welcome back to another episode on The Align with Alora podcast. I'm your host Alora and I'm really excited about this episode. 

For a lot of things. I am a planning nerd. And I don't know, I love laying out my entire year. I love dreaming. I love planning for hopes and dreams to possibly happen. I love having crazy wild dreams. I love having things that I don't think that will work, but it would be nice if it did work. I love I don't know, just vision planning in general. So we're going to be talking about that today. The top four things that I think you should be doing in order to plan for an amazing 2022 And these are things that I do and have done in the past and I have seen amazing growth in my business, because I've done all these things.

So let's talk about that. You're listening to the Align for Laura podcast. They say business owners ditch the nine to five only to work 80 hours just for themselves. I want to change that narrative.

I believe that we can still be successful by working smarter, not harder and still achieve beyond our wildest dreams. This podcast is all about systems boundaries and growing a profitable business without the hustle and the overwhelm. Because guess what, you really can have both So get comfortable and let's dive in.

Okay, so the first thing that you need to do is make a vision board because you need to plan if you don't plan, then you plan to fail to basically whether or not you are intentionally planning or not planning your planning. That's just how it goes. So why not bring up everything that you're thinking about and see how we can organize this and make sure that you are successful for the following year. So the first thing I mentioned would be to make a vision board. So what I love to do is take a big poster board that you can probably get from like Staples, OfficeMax, target archery, whatever, split it into two sides that display where you're at and where you want to go. So this will keep you accountable for your next move and of course help you track your wins. So what I like to do is kind of make a vision of okay, this is what I did in 2021. But this is where I want to go in 2022 and what you can do is kind of list the things that relate to procrastinate, let's say in 2021 I booked 30 weddings, but in 2022 I only want to book 20 I only want to book 15 But I also want to make more by working less. So kind of having those things visually there and just like bring them in thinking about things you want to offer. Visit you want to introduce any of those things. So take a look at your business now and what worked, what didn't work and plan for how you're going to make it work. So when you look now that you have this little vision board, and I I kind of call this a planning board if you really want to be honest, there's not like magazine clippings and other great stuff. 

Are there things that I can do, are there additional income strings I can bring? Can I add a team, all of these things so you're just kind of brain dumping and eventually we'll be organizing this. If you want to make this super easy. Because you have a big poster board. I would suggest having a bunch of beautifully colored sticky notes. I think they're fun. They're beautiful, whatever. It's easy to stick in that way if something isn't working or you change your mind on a whole you can just rip it off, throw it away and write something else different. So then I would suggest setting good best and better goals if anything, like before I launched something before I even take on the year like okay, it would be good if I booked 20 weddings, it would be like better if I booked 25 It would be best if I booked 40 Which is insane but I'm just using wedding photography. Or you can say you know what I want to book like the morning but I really want to book like 20 portraits lifestyle when do engagements only do elopement So breaking those things down and setting yourself up for failure? And also if you supersede them, good if you meet them, good. If you don't, that way you can backtrack and see okay, how can I make this work next time? They do let's look at your income for this year. What did you want to make next year?

 Now make a strategy and in order to envision that so now let's think about okay this is what I this is what I want how many mentorship sessions all those things need to get there. spearfishing is to make six figures. Okay, how many weddings do I need to message I want to introduce you want to now become a branding photographer and offer a full day or you charge a higher price ticket or do you like branding? So much that you'd rather book 30 of them a year and so like offering a high ticket offer where you serve less clients, do you want to serve more? Do you want to serve less? Do you want to do more of this if you want to do less than that? So that will really help in terms of mind mapping and also seeing like what you can handle because you don't really have to do this all on your own and we've talked about this in the outsourcing episode with Zehra. But also just thinking, What do you want to do? 

So the thing is, you are the boss and you are the CEO. So don't forget to put that hat on and be like I'm not doing that. And I also have another episode about boundaries in business, making sure that you have the boundaries of not working too much because we don't believe in like grinding and over hustling anymore. Okay, that's all we've, we've done the work we built our business. Now what are the next steps for us? Or how can we just level this up? Or how can we scale because we have big dreams and want to do more things? So making a vision board or planning board, we'll help you track all those things. 

Okay, the next thing is invest in your education. So this time of year where you know, where you want to go but you have no idea hands out like remember that if you want to get somewhere and not pay for the five years that it takes some trial and error that you have to invest in yourself because the education that you receive and the time that you will save will actually save you 1000s of dollars and time and mistakes. So think about it in terms of how long it takes you to do a course or how long does it take you to be a part of the coaching or mastermind program. You're getting the answers and you're bouncing ideas off of people that are in like minded situations. Instead of you just like going on Pinterest and downloading free options or you know Google searching how do I do this? How am I good leader? How am I going to do this team going to charge more? How do I charge more instead of like just investing and the One Stop ticket there to get all of your questions answered. And that is the success of it. Write master a lot of people think it's it's scary to invest a lot of money into yourself but it will pay for itself 10 times over promised and assure you
tons of people if you are unsure and think about is it worth it to just spend the money make that investment myself in my career. 

I knew I wanted to coach see where their strengths lie. Do you want to work in your marketing? Excellent at marketing themselves? Do they possess the balanced life that you really want? Have they scaled their business and then some do they work? Do they work a lot and still make more muscle? Are you into real? Are they free advice? Way more knowledge and notice and I don't look out for anything giving out free advice. So like I kind of knew like the things that they were teaching me I already knew and money in that investment. So abundance mind share tricks and things that they've known then you know, okay, they have way more extensive knowledge in their in their pain program and I have to get on to this. Also. I think you know what you need to do. 

So take a look at this. I'm sure tons of people out there in this industry. Me included you can sign up for the wedding CEO masterminding coaching the link will be in the show notes and I would love to have you on that is application only and it is upon approval to make sure that you are a good fit for everybody in the program. I want to make sure that you're going to get stuck on this and everyone in the program is going to get something out of this. It is my approval only but I promise you that if you are approved, you are going to supersede way more than you ever have hoped and expected in your business. So the next thing that I think you need to do is something I do all the time actually kind of is like I'm getting a rebrand honestly I'm just showing up. Every once in a few years I'll do like a full fresh rebrand. But the thing that is trending right now which I love it I think it's on trend for 2022 and beyond is hiring a designer for a VIP day. Instead of getting a rebrand every couple five months, why don't you just take the beautiful bones that are on your website unless it's trashed and just like get a full rebrand but hire a designer and see the ways they can make your website more user friendly and that way that it even feels like a website refresh. 

The next thing you can do is update the images with branding imagery like so if you haven't had your photos taken the last two three years and you don't even look the same. It might be time to get branding photos done, which is fine. Everybody has to do it branding refresh photos. I got my photos taken like five times this year and I was a little burned out but once or twice a year getting those images refreshed and making sure it's aligned with you because let's be real we change all the time. Successful finger rolling and thanks Jane. Oh, it's okay to like get new images taken and make sure that they feel aligned with you and type of client you're trying to attract. Also go through your best of the year images and update those galleries. So there are some photos that you might have in your website. That's great that you're still booking clients or whatever, but make sure those images are upgrading those images that are attracting the clients. That way people don't feel gypped when they like apply to your form and then like you're providing completely a complete different service. When they get their photos back in the end. Make sure that that is aligned with what you want to track and what you want to do and also where you want to go. So check for any links on your website. Make sure that they aren't broken. The lead anywhere because this will hurt your SEO. So those are all things to think about kind of like you have the time now to do those blogs, do those best of whatever whatever you feel like doing this was a perfect time to do that. 

Okay, so the last thing and this is something I cannot wait to do. I've already set aside a couple things for this is make time next year for work and plan. So schedule some dates off that are non negotiable for you, your family or friends, whoever you're going to be spending your time with knock those dates off. Maybe ask in advance like hey, I want to do this. Are you free? Let's just block off this week in February. Let's log off this week in April. Those can be your days off vacation, stay home day, whatever you want. You are the boss literally don't book a wedding portrait session and most definitely not a mini session day. If you want to explore boundaries in business I think like I said that episode will be linked here if you want but take control of your life and don't let it control you because when you make time to have vacation, honestly you become more creative or creative. I don't know about you, but me personally, I get so caught up in like making sure tasks are done and overseeing the business that I forget to take actual time like most people do. Like having a weekend is not enough for me. 

So my goal is honestly I have invested in this huge high ticket mastermind and I am going to be working I want to I mean only two to three days a week. i Right now I work that basic Monday through Friday. And occasionally Of course I do wedding so I work on the weekends too. So we have to think about that but from now on moving forward. In addition to the weekend, I only want to be working two or three days on my business and the rest I'm going to be spending on other things like living a life. And so I have been making sure that I'm taking time off and then also I'm putting a lot of things into play right now and kind of re organizing my business by team, the new team that I'm going to be adding and there's just a lot of stuff going on that I know that I need to do to get to where I want to go. And I realized after tons of headaches that I just don't want to constantly be in every single thing. It's time for me to delegate the things that I'm not super passionate about and I outsource already but I'm gonna have a huge plan in place to really take this thing on and I'm really excited like, so another thing is that I am gonna be taking at least a week off or quarter at least a week. That's the minimum. I really want to take a vacation at least once every other month and it can be like a mini vacation doesn't have to be anything special. It could be just heading out of state a little bit and just relaxing weekend but I really want to have like a full full vacation at least twice a year, two to three times. That's that for me. I hope this kind of gives you a little bit of an idea of how you can plan for your next year and how you can really set yourself up for success. 

This is a lot of information. I do talk really fast, so feel free to slow me down. I think you can do that in the podcast. I was like I always beat people up because I think everybody talks slow but my brains go fast. So if you need to slow me down or stop and pause, especially about the vision board part and especially about the education part it's important to like really realize like okay, if I'm making this much money, I can set aside this much money to invest my education. I can set aside this much money to like pay for full rebrand or for VIP day. I can set aside this much time and money to have a vacation. You are in control of all these things. I think you just get so caught up in what's being marketed to you constantly about elevating your business and leveling your business, that you're not making time to have a life. You're not making time. To make good connections and network.

 Another thing about masterminds is masterminds will definitely help you network with people that are exactly like you in your same position. And then same for like the vision board like it really will help you plan to not be like oh my gosh, we're how much money am I gonna make next year or off? I booked this many clients I'll be happy. But really you're like, oh, I need to actually book this many clients to really be happy to really make the income that I want to really make sure that if I'm the breadwinner that I can make this much money so that family compare bills, or like this is the non negotiable for the amount of things that I'm going to do. So it really really helps you plan all of those things. I know this was a jam packed episode, but it's really important that I love this stuff. I'm kind of a nerd about this stuff. If you come in my office, there are literally vision boards. Where to like what I'm going to outsource to the people I'm going to be hiring to add in my team. 

My year calendars have split into quarters. I have a quarterly plan up there based on the breakdown of the year. It's insane. But you know what I always know when I walk in my office, what the plan is, where I want to go and who I want to hire and how I'm going to get there like it's insane in my brain. I don't know it is what it is but I wanted to share these things with you so that way you have a glimpse into my mind. And these are only a couple of things to get you started as well. So I hope this episode was helpful. Thanks for listening, and I hope you have an amazing end of the year 2021 2022 And like a week or so I don't know what I'm gonna make this this episode live but it's coming. So enjoy. Just soak in Baskin and say good riddance. Crazy two years that we've had, but honestly, this will be super helpful for you and also bounce off of friends, family members, spouse, whatever. But this will help you get excited for the new year. I always get excited for the new year. Honestly, it's like you get to start all over with a clean slate. So it is exactly what you decide to make. So have a great week. Amazing day amazing life.

And I will be back here next week you're loving the podcast so far. I'd be so honored if you go ahead and hit that subscribe button
as always, podcasts get noticed. Thank you so much for tuning in. If you'd like to connect will free to look at all the links in the show notes.