29 Ways to Grow your Brand Photography Business Confidence
Several of these tips have helped me grow more confident in my business which has led to greater trust, more bookings, and exciting new relationships!
In June, 2021 I did an IG takeover on the @indie_roller account.
I had to host an IG Live about a topic of my choosing (Building Biz Confidence) and end the day with a reel that summed it all up.
As I worked to create my notes and content for that day I realized how many things I've done over the last year and a half that has build up my business confidence and I want to share them with you all in the hopes that some can help you as well!
join a community (or a few)
As a one-person show, being part of a community is super helpful in terms of support but also in that you'll be able to share your expertise with other members who already trust you. This doesn't have to be a group of photographers, in fact perhaps it's better for you if it isn't as others will look to you as the expert, which will do wonders for your confidence.
cultivate a healthy morning routine
Taking care of and respecting yourself first thing as you're waking up feels good and puts you in a more positive mindset which is an important step toward confidence. Think of those days when you feel TOTALLY "on it." Chances are you were in a great mood/mindset and more often than not in my experience those days start with meditation and movement, among other things (it's ok to mix it up and not do every healthy practice each and every morning).
build others up
Building others up will make you feel good and instills trust. The more trust you build, the more people will invest in you, and the more people who buy from you, the more confident you become in your business. Do this by commenting, recommending, sharing, and sending thank you cards.
organize your day in an exciting way
Having a handle on your schedule and to-do lists will make you feel like you've got it all under control (even when you don't). Find a beautiful way to keep notes that will entice you to stay organized. I write my calendar in in black and highlight completed tasks in a rainbow - a different color each day to help me keep track of when things are complete. The colors encourage me to keep at it since it's so pretty to look at!
Going from a photographer ---to---> "A vegan brand photographer based in Liverpool who plants trees and specializes in helping eco-friendly businesses grow with fun and relaxed photography," has built my confidence in that I know the people who find me often align with my values and are booking me for me, rather than just because I know how to use a camera.
take your business seriously (but not too seriously...)
What does this mean to you?
For me to take myself seriously as a business owner, I needed to know I had a killer website, professional branding, an organized customer experience (CRM), and vibrant, professional images of myself.
To some it may include applying to new markets, or redesigning your stall. Maybe even submitting work to be published. Whatever it means for you to take your business seriously, I highly recommend it! My website is stunning thanks to the designer I hired and it gives me sooo much confidence knowing how great it looks. Which brings me to my next point...
outsource with professionals
I'm sure you can do it all. I can do loads myself. But the fact of the matter is I'm always happier when I hire a professional. It saves me loads of time and stress and has a beautiful outcome!
say yes to great opportunities (even if they're scary)
Being asked to speak or be interviewed can be scary but you're being asked because you are seen as an expert in your field. This opportunity will expose you to a whole new audience that can result in beautiful relationships and even new customers.
ask for reviews
This one is killer for boosting your biz confidence! If you've had an amazing experience with a client, ask them to share. I mean, check out this line from a recent client review:
“I've worked with a few photographers in the past & working with Kayleigh has been the absolute best.”
Talk about feeling good about your business! Throw the reviews on your website and use them as social proof in your content plan to help build others' confidence in you (but spread them out - too much is too much). While you're at it, spread some love and build others up by sending them positive reviews!
keep a "flatter" folder
Save all the good things people say to you - texts, reviews, emails, thank you cards. Keep them in a place you can refer to them whenever you need a little boost - maybe even display them in your line of vision while you work - they'll make you smile AND feel good!
Overdelivering when you can is a great way to boost confidence in your customer service which will in turn lead to more positive reviews, recommendations, and referrals, which will then add to more sales, which will then make you even more confident in your business! Consider a 'thanks for booking gift,' extra photos, or even creating a slideshow or gif out of the images from your session together.
raise your vibrations
It's a great practice in the morning and before discovery calls to raise your vibrations. Some people do that with incense, meditation, dancing, or affirmations. It puts you in a better mood which others will notice. And generally be attracted to. And when people are attracted to you, they often either book you; or remember you when they're eventually ready to book.
ask for help
Sure, asking for help can be challenging but knowing you've sorted out a challenge or gained a new skill from someone will not only boost your confidence, but it will also boost the confidence of the person you asked!
zhuzh up your space
Feeling good in your workspace can do wonders for your mental health and productivity because let's face it, we spend HOURS in our home offices so we might as well surround ourselves with things that look great, motivate, and make us smile. Add in a photo of you taking photos of others. Write down a few reasons why you love being a photographer and display it in your eyeline.
Taking time to count your blessings and appreciate all you've overcome is a beautiful practice both in your personal and business life. Seeing how far I've come definitely makes me feel increasingly confident in my brand. And sharing that gratitude with a client each time they book, leave a positive review, or tag you in a post will keep the positive energy going.
dance & have fun
Allow yourself to have a good time and for people to see you doing it. You'll make yourself and others smile. Who doesn't want to buy from a happy business owner?? I often dance to a really great tune before the initial call with a potential client. This goes back to the raising your vibrations point above.
shower yourself with positive self talk
There's literally no good that can come from negative self-talk when it comes to building and growing your business. Talk to yourself as you would someone you love. Give yourself encouragement, compliments, and praise! Whenever a negative thought pops into your head, reframe it into a positive statement.
tape affirmations to your workspace
Use "I am" statements to remind yourself what a great photographer you are to your clients. Paste them around your computer where you sit down to work and read them often to yourself. Do this out loud for max impact!
celebrate & treat yourself
Treats can come in the smallest of packages or even just habits. Take time to celebrate sales and business wins even if that just means taking a victory lap around the coffee table! Celebrating your wins will feel good and the more you do it, the more you'll see how many great things are worth celebrating in your business, and the more things you notice as worth celebrating, the more your confidence will build!
There are loads of photographers out there sharing their beautiful work and it can be all too easy to scroll and compare but that does us zero good. Look to others for inspiration and leave it at that. You don't have to follow anyone on social media that makes you question your value or worth. I follow only a few photographers for that reason - I find it way better for my mental health!
write useful blog posts
Share your expertise. Spread your knowledge. People will start to come to you for information. As those numbers go up, so will your confidence.
In just one month of really putting my images to work and pinning the crap out of everything, my impressions increased by over 2000%! And guess what happened to my confidence when I saw I was getting over 6,000 views a month??
customize your google business page
Customize your google business page. It's such an easy peasy way to gain trust and get yourself out there! According to searchengineland.com, "Businesses with more than 100 images get 520% more calls…and 1,065% more website clicks than the average business…" And according to brightlocal.com, "60% of consumers say local search results with good images capture their attention and push them towards a decision." You'll get emails when your traffic goes up, and hopefully more inquiries!
really nail down your client journey
This was huge for me. Sending my clients through a very well-thought out, clean journey throughout the booking, shooting, and gallery delivery stages boosts my clients' confidence in me which gives me a huge amount of confidence in myself!
refine your systems
Along with the above, find systems that work for you and your clients. I love using pixieset to share my client galleries and at the moment I'm very grateful that my CRM gives my clients a smooth journey and is also a useful money tracking program. (I currently use tave but it takes a while to get the hang of it - if you want to give it a whirl, use my code to double your free trial!)
choose branding you're proud of
It wasn't until recently when I updated my branding to a look that was both elevated and approachable (at least in my opinion!), that I felt the highest level of pride in putting myself out there in various online spaces. This includes your color pallette, your logo, typefaces, website, values, social media templates, business cards, and even having nice branding photos of yourself. Once you feel like you really align with the look of your brand, I promise your business confidence will increase.
put your values out there to attract
Once you feel like you know what you're talking about from every angle, you'll start to acknowledge yourself as an expert in your field and people will feel that confidence.
Find courses that will help you refine your technique, build your skill, and uplevel your customer experience. Once you feel like you know what you're talking about from every angle, you'll start to acknowledge yourself as an expert in your field and people will feel that and be drawn to you.
invest in a mentor
Finding someone whom you align with, who can provide customized advice in a 1-1 setting will kick you into gear fast! It may take ages to action all the wonderful steps you've come away with but once you do, you'll be shocked my how your business confidence will have increased!
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