I'm lucky to say that I'm a photographer who has never had a wedding day disaster.....like losing all the images from a wedding day, or just not showing up on the wedding day at all. In fact, I take major pre-cautions to avoid situations like that. BUTtThe best business owners are the ones who make mistakes and can own up to them, and later learn from them. I've been running my business now full time for 5 years, and while I've never had a wedding day disaster, you can bet I've made tons of mistakes along the way. In today's Friday 5, I'm going to share the 5 biggest mistakes I've made in my business in hopes that you can learn from them, and not follow down the same path I took:
1. Not Investing in my business
In order to keep growing, you have to keep learning and keep investing. The worst thing you can do for your business is get to a place where you're comfortable, and you know how to do "all the things". When I first started my business, money was tight, and I didn't know it was important to hire a lawyer to draw up contracts, or pay for courses that could help me become better. I didn't know I needed business insurance, or that outsourcing my editing could actually help grow my business even though it's an investment for each wedding. But guess what? You have to spend money to make money! If you are trying to save in every area you can, yet it's causing you to lose sleep over your business, or time with your family, or your business has plateau'd, I would encourage you to get on investing right away!!
2. This terrible thing I did...
Ok, so here's a story that still haunts me to this day.
And I have never shared this story before; so you are the first to get the dirty deets...
It was 2014, and I was just starting to photograph weddings. I had a meeting planned with this couple for their October wedding. Our meeting was on a Saturday at 10am. That Saturday morning came and I totally spaced the meeting, and instead, went to the park with my then boyfriend, now husband, Frank and our dog Tyrza...in flip flops and a tank top, and I left my phone in the car. We get back from the park and I check my phone at 10:40am...by some miracle, the couple is still at our meeting place and called and texted me asking if I would be showing up. I told Frank to book it, I had to go to this meeting. I felt SO bad! I kept the couple waiting for over an hour by the time I got there, and decided there would be no chance to go and change. So there I was, I showed up over an hour late, in flip flops and a tank top, sat right down with them and told them the truth. There was no covering up what just happened.
...and they booked me on the spot.
My most embarrassing mistake turned into the sweetest story of grace from my client's end. The fact that they still trusted me to show up on time on their wedding day (not wearing flips flops and a tank top). It was a testament to the fact that if you can be real, and honest, and completely yourself, people will love you and give you a second chance.
***Side note: this has never happened since.***
3. Not being confident in my services or prices
I wish when I first started out, I would have had more confidence in myself. It would have saved me so much hustle, so much time, and so much agony. I've learned over the years to grow in confidence and have been so surprised by how much it has truly transformed my business! Check out this Friday 5 blog post I made on 5 Ways Confidence Can Transform Your Business.
4. Not making connections in business earlier
Running a successful business is allllll about the relationships you can establish! It's so easy when you're running a business to hide behind your computer screen and think that you're making connections because you talk to people online. But showing up in the real world; allowing people to put a face to your name, and awe-ing them with your service is what can make the biggest difference in your business. I waited until I had ran my business for a few years to really step out of my shell and actually meet people and establish genuine relationships within the industry...my only regret is that I didn't do that sooner. Having those relationships have helped me grow my business so much in the last 2 years alone...it is so important!
5. Not blogging the first couple of years
I only really got serious about blogging consistently back in 2017. Oh how I wish I had started it sooner. You may not realize, but blogging consistently is crucial to building an established brand. Need more convincing? Check out my blog: 5 Ways to Drive More Traffic to Your Website. I have a point in that post that talks allllllllll about why you NEED to be blogging, like, yesterday.
Ok, so now I'm curious to know, what's been your biggest mistakes you've made in your business? Comment below! Next week, I'll be sharing my 5 biggest successes in my business!