Lets Talk About Money

lady boss workshops let's talks about money and being okay with making money | Business tips for female photographers and advice for creative entrepreneurs

Money. Chances are this is a difficult subject for you. No? Well then you are the minority.

When women are asked about money they often say things like “I hate to talk about money.” Or even “I feel guilty charging money for my services.” And lately in my industry I hear people saying “you can’t make art that is true to yourself if you are accepting money for your work.”

So not true.

I am going to tell you a little story about me that takes place about 7 years ago. My husband had a good job, I had a good job, a safe one at that. But we were barely making ends meet. Barely. I remember a time when I had a three year old and a six month old and I needed to buy new socks. Socks, you guys. Not an expensive item. We  literally barely had enough money in our bank account to cover it. And I was working EVERY weekend, back to back 12 hour shifts as a nurse while my husband was busting his hump Monday-Friday at his job. What the hell? And don’t even get me started on the pile of debt we had at this time. By pile I mean mountain.

So why am I telling you this? Because you need money. Not just to do extravagant things, but to do necessary things, like buy socks, feed your family, pay the mortgage, buy clothing for your kids. Not to mention saving for retirement, college funds, and emergencies. And if you do make more then you need, you can donate and make change in this world. If you want to take nice vacations or buy nice things, good for you! If you worked for it then you deserve it.

So don’t ever for one second feel guilty for wanting to make good money. Because guess what Ladies? Most men have zero problem wanting money or seeking out jobs that make money. Zero!

After my little sock incident I had a real awakening. I could work a million hours at the hospital, busting my ass for hourly pay, on my feet, often with no breaks to make more, or I could learn how to be a good business women and kill it in with my side hustle. And that is exactly what I did.

I learned everything I could about being a good business owner, about marketing, and I learned about money. How to make it, how to save it, and how to invest it.

The rest is history. Last year I tripled what I was making as a nurse. And I am not ashamed that I wanted to make more money. Because money is necessary to live, ladies.
So change how you feel about money. You deserve to make what you are worth.

It Only Hurts If You Think It's True

lady boss workshops it only hurts if you think it's true how to overcome negative obstacles  | Business tips for creative entrepreneurs and female photographers

I want to share something that just happened to me with you.

Back in March, I re-launched my ebook, The Missing Link: A Film Photographer's Guide To Off Camera Lighting.  The guide is the marriage of two things I'm very passionate about, film and beautiful light.  

I've worked on it for years, literally.  And I've spent a ton of time and money researching, shooting, testing and re-testing, writing and re-writing.  It's a bit of my heart and soul wrapped up in 90 pages and I'm very proud of it.

As I always do with a new project, I announced the release to my newsletter list first.  And, as alway, I got a few unsubscribes.  


Unsubscribes don't bother me at all.  

It is a natural part of maintaining a healthy list.  

But one unsubscribe came with a little note, that basically said that I was a greedy, money hungry person for charging for the new ebook and that I should be ashamed of myself.

And here is where this story gets interesting.


In the past, an email like that would have devastated me. 

I remember, early in my career, when I'd get a bad review or an unhappy client I would dissolve into a puddle.  

I'd question what I was doing, if I was good enough, if my photos were even worth anything... and the self-doubt and negative thoughts would last for weeks.

Now, a mean word or nasty email doesn't bother me in the least.  Why? Because I know it's just not true!

Do I think I'm greedy for charging for my work?  Nope!

Am I sad that the person who said that thinks that I am?  Nope!

I am confident in what I do, my products, what I sell and what I have to share with the world.  I am 100% proud, even if I make mistakes (which I do) and even though I know I have room to grow and learn (which I do).

But this is why I'm sharing this story with you...

Negative reviews and remarks only hurt when we think they're true. 

We all have self-doubt.  We all have something that makes us squirm about running a business, or asking for money, or sharing our art with the world.  To do our job and to do it well requires that we live in a vulnerable place. And that's hard.

And so when someone else says were are overpriced, or that we suck, or whatever, it often times feels as though they are speaking our worst fears out loud. 

That is why it hurts.

Once you can get to a point that you know exactly what you do.  And you know exactly who your people are. You will rarely ever get a bad review or a negative email... and when you do, it won't hurt at all.    

So spend some time focusing on your unique gifts.  Believe in what you do.  Know that whatever it is, it holds value.  And then pay attention.  The more you believe it, the more others will too... and pretty soon, a mean comment will just roll off your back!


xoxo,
Sandra

Do It For You. Do It For Them.

lady boss workshops do it for you do it for them working mom  | Business tips for creative entrepreneurs and female photographers

If you are anything like me, you have a hard time thinking about yourself first.  

Chances are you are a mother and wife and putting others before ourselves comes with the territory.  

So when we are building our own business it can feel like a selfish act.  It is time away from our family and because we love what we are doing it almost feels like an indulgence.  I don’t know about you, but a date at a coffee shop with just me and my laptop makes me feel a little giddy inside.  Just me?

Okay, maybe I am a nut job, but I LOVE my job and I love creating and I have a feeling you do too.

But here is the thing I want you to remember...

It is good to have something for you.

It is so good.

You will come home a new woman ready to tackle dinner, homework, laundry, baths, and baby snuggles. Plus, you are showing your children that you can build something out of nothing and make it a success. You are teaching them that hard work pays off and that you can follow your dreams to create a life you love.

So leave the guilt behind.

While I want you to do this for you, I want you to remember that you are also doing it for them.

If you are doing it right, you are earning an income that will allow you to provide for your family, take those dream vacations, and create the life you deserve. If you get really intentional about your time, you can do it in less time than a typical 9-5 with more time to spend with those you love.

So today, stop feeling guilty.

Take yourself seriously.

Start building your dream business for you and for your family.

I believe in you, fellow Lady Boss! You got this! 
 
xoxo,
Elena

P.S.  Do you know a Lady Boss who could use some solid business advice?  Feel free to share this post!  Remember, sharing is caring!

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List Building When Starting for Scratch

lady boss workshops list building when starting from scratch  | Business tips for creative entrepreneurs and female photographers

A few weeks ago, Elena and I did a Facebook Live all about Newsletters and List Building.  Shortly after it aired, we received this question from a fellow Lady Boss “Do you have any suggestions for people who've just moved to a new area and are starting from scratch?”

Great question!

If you are new to a market and/or just starting your business then list building should be your number one priority.

Here are some ideas I came up with that could help you grow your list and get your name out in your new community while doing it.

  • Approach local coffee shops and inquire about showing your work.  You want people to know you and know what you do, so think like your potential clients, and be where they are.  Shows are great list building opportunities, especially if they have a “meet the artist” night.  Just make sure you have someway to capture the emails of people who are there and looking at your work (this can be as simple as a sheet of paper that says “for information on future sales and events, join my list” and a pen)
  • Give back to the community.  Find a school or a charity that you love and host a fundraiser.  I do this twice a year.  One event (my Fall mini-sessions) benefits our local elementary school PTA and one event (my Santa sittings) benefits a local charity.  Fundraisers are a total win/win for everyone.  The charity is always thankful for the extra money, your clients feel good about giving to their community and you get name recognition and really great exposure.  Again, treat your events as list building opportunities and concentrate on capturing those emails!
  • Optimize your opt-in.  Make sure that you have an opt-in form on your website, your Facebook page, your email signature and on your contract.  Anywhere you are interacting with clients, online or in person, should have an opt-in opportunity.
  • Create a Call To Action.  Ask your people to join your list on every blog post, and social media post your create!  Link a url address to your list on Instagram and Facebook.  Create a "sign up today" button for your blog!  And then just say "Hey friends, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter list by clicking the link in profile/below this post/where ever your link is" at the end of every post.

Remember, when running your own business, a good list is like gold!

Make list building a priority.  You won’t regret it, I promise.

Why You Need Testimonials and How to Get Them

lady boss workshops why you need testimonials and how to get them  | Business tips for creative entrepreneurs and female photographers

We have a great freebie for you at the end of this tutorial, so be sure to get to the end! 

Hey Lady Boss!

We have all visited fabulous websites or seen Facebook pages or Google Plus pages with raving testimonials. 

Often after seeing that you might think “wow, her fans LOVE her so much. How kind of them to randomly review her business.” Well I am going to let you in on a little secret. Most of those entrepreneurs that you see with raving reviews asked for them. 
Yup. 

Truth. 
Being self employed means you must get comfortable with self promotion.

It isn’t easy, but it’s a must. Asking for a review not only gets you reviews for your business, it also gives you an excuse to contact a past client who may book again simply because you touched base with them. Having reviews is a fantastic way for future clients to gain trust in you and your services. If someone is on the fence about hiring you, a good collection of testimonials may be what makes them decide to hire you. Here are a two ways you can gather reviews from past and future clients right away.

Make it part of your product delivery text.

Every time you wrap up a project with a client, kindly ask for a review. When I deliver a completed online photo gallery I include a short sentence at the end that says: “If you loved your session with me, would you kindly take a few minutes to review my business on Facebook, Google Plus, or by replying to this email with a short review. I operate solely on word of mouth and reviews really help me to grow my small business.”

Send out an email to past clients asking for a review.

Simply send an email saying that you are hoping to start a review page on your website. Say that you are touching base with your best clients for this task. You can offer a freebie, like a discount on their next purchase, money off a session, or a free product for their time. However the freebie isn't necessary.

You will be surprised how generous your clients are with their words. If you are providing a great experience and service, your people will be happy to return the favor. 

Go for it!