Featured On: Systems Saved Me Podcast

artwork via Systems Saved Me

 

As business owners we have our plates full, and having systems in place to reach our goals is essential. If you’ve ever looked back at your month, week or day and wondered what it is you actually accomplished, then you have to check out my interview with Jordan on the Systems Saved Me podcast!

I’m sharing my one-page worksheet for keeping track of #allthethings in my business. (Seriously, like ALL the things!) Including my secret weapon for keeping sight of the awesome things that happen too. Because we all need more happy dancing and progress parties!

You can learn more about host Jordan Gill and how she can help make your business operations smooth like butta at personalizedprocedures.com!

Inspired By: Your Dream Office

I was having a coffee chat this week with a social media expert and we got on the topic of custom styled stock for service-based businesses. This comes up a lot. Unless you’ve made this your profession, most people don’t realize what to take photos of to represent a service.

There are several ways to approach styled brand photos for service-based businesses. Some include branded head shots or tools of the trade. But something I like to do to get the creative juices flowing for my clients is to ask them to describe their DREAM OFFICE!

Design: Amber Interiors || Photo: Tessa Neustadt

This puts your brand into more concrete terms. If we can imagine you are welcoming a client into your dream office, it gives us a place to start for the kind of environment you want to create for your clients online.  

Let’s pretend you've hired a real estate guru, an interior designer and a fabulous staff to wait on clients (and you) hand and foot.  What does your dream office look like?  

  • A cottage turned law office.  
  • A high rise suite next door to a fashion empire. 
  • A shabby chic garden to teach nutrition.
  • An industrial loft. 
  • A mid century bungalow.

Now imagine what you want your clients to feel, see, taste. What is the experience they have while working with you? 

  • Is light and bright, or warm and cozy?
  • Are you serving iced tea, coffee, booze?! 
  • Fresh fruit or macrons? 
  • Are you in a comfy chair or behind the desk? 
  • Is that desk sleek and white or weathered wood?
  • What objects might be around? Gemstones, cooking utensils, children's toys, tons of brainstorm journals, or Pantone swatches. 

These are a good starting point for the elements I'd incorporate into styled photos. Your website IS your dream office. The space you greet clients when they first walk in the door!

Share in the comments below! What would your clients see if they were to come and work with you in person? How would you want them to feel in your presence and space?

4 Reasons To Hire a Pro For Your Brand Photography

It’s in your entrepreneurial DNA, you believe everything is “figureoutable”! You’re creative, resourceful, problem solvers and action takers. But while those skills have helped you get to where you are today, you can’t be great at ALL THE THINGS, have a life and grow your business. 

We can get by, but we can’t be great!  

Hiring a pro when you are ready is the smart move, and I’ll share with you a few reasons why it’s important to have a professional brand photographer on your side.

YOUR TIME IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE

Trying to coax decent photos from your digital camera (or cell phone) can be time consuming and frustrating, to say the least. And I’m willing to bet spending hours searching stock sites for photos that you like and reflect your brand, is not your zone of genius. 

You have more important things to do like, creating your next product or service, doing client getting activities and serving those clients! Not to mention, having a social life or taking a nap. #realtalk

If you can, I highly suggest outsourcing business tasks as you grow (photography included) to make time for you to run your business and do what it is that you do best.

QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHY INSTILLS TRUST

The pros know how to get the perfect lighting, composition, styling and most of all how to translate your brand elements into a visual story. These are skills that come with LOTS of practice. The quality of your images is the fasted way to tell your online clients that you are taking your business seriously and that your products and services are top-notch. This earns their trust and they feel confident spending their hard-earned money with you. 

ON-BRAND AND JUST RIGHT

If you’ve seen my post on The Style Discovery, then you know that nailing down your brand and style for a photo shoot is my top priority. Great photos won’t help if they don’t connect with your target market or dilute your brand message. If you get lucky you might find some stock with photos that will work, but more than likely you’ll be settling for something that is close but not quite right. 

That’s ok when you are first starting out and discovering your brand + style. Stock has it’s place but in general stock photos are created to serve the most people - not created JUST FOR YOU. And that’s what you need to elevate your brand. 

EXCLUSIVE

Exclusivity is the mark of a luxury brand. Having custom styled brand photography ensures you stand out from the crowd. Nothing is worse than searching high and low for stock photos that match your brand just to find out everyone in your industry is using the same ones.

Another important thing to consider is having the legal right to use the photos as needed for your business. When some business owners first start out they might think it's harmless to use photos off Flickr or various free stock photo sites without being aware of the licensing agreements. So making sure your photos are sourced from a reputable stock site or even better having your own made for you will really save you a lot of turmoil and headache down the road.