Beating the Winter Business Blues

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It’s mid- November. If you’ve been in business a while, you’ll already know that this is the time of year where everything in the wedding industry slows down to a glacial pace. Brides and grooms tend to put their wedding planning to one side in favour of all things festive. The enquiries dry up, and that metaphorical tumble weed seems to blow past your website more often than you might be used to.

If you’re not expecting it, it can be a little disconcerting, but it’s all very normal and come January you’ll be overrun with enquiries as it’s when everything ramps up again x 1000! Not only are there lots of Christmas engagements, but those couples getting married in 2015 will wake up on January 1st thinking “Oh crap, we’re getting married this year, we better get serious with the wedding planning!”

Rather that sitting around, eagerly waiting for the January rush to hit, this is the perfect time of year for you to get your business is in the best possible shape.

Start a passion project

I recently wrote about the benefits of personal projects, and this time of year is the ideal time to do something about it. Organise a shoot, put on an event, and just have some fun!

Get those accounts in order

Groaaan! Boring, I know, but why not get a head start on next year’s taxes by cracking on with them now?

Give your home or office an (Autumn) clean

Spring cleaning is overrated. I am ALL about the Autumn clean. We’ve been de-cluttering our house massively over the past few weeks and it’s so blissful. Anything that isn’t beautiful or useful is being chucked (goodbye ugly DVDs that we never watch! Hello, white walls and new carpet!)

Out with the old in with the new, that’s what I say. A nice home and work environment makes everything a million times better.

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Do I Really Have To Blog?

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As a small business owner, utilising visually driven social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook is undoubtedly important. However over the past year or so I’ve started to notice a massive decline in the one thing that started it all; blogging. While I used to love reading my favourite business owners’ blogs, these days more and more of them appear to be neglected. They have been abandoned for the bright lights and instant gratitude of social media.

Blogging is a powerful tool for promoting new work, sharing inspiration, letting people into the behind the scenes action, and posting your opinions. It’s the best way to share who you really are with the world and build a loyal following. But blogging hard. It takes forward planning and lots of work, hence the mass exodus.

I get it. You’re busy. And while updating a blog is a slog, social media is so fun and easy in comparison. But here’s the thing, if you’re willing to put the work in, a blog will bring you many more rewards than even the largest following on Instagram.

being famous on instagram is like being rich in monopoly

♥ Writing helpful articles for your ideal client will build those fans who are much more likely to go on and book your services or buy your products. This simply can’t be done with a tweet.

♥ With your blog, you make the rules. You own the domain and you can share whatever you want, whenever you want. You don’t have to adhere to anyone else’s guidelines or parameters.

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From Zero to Hero: Two Simple Attitude Adjustments That Will Take Your Business To The Next Level

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There are two major realisations that I’d consider to be the key factors that took my blog and my business from ‘just another anonymous wedding blog’ to what it is today. And they might surprise you. They’re nothing to do with content, or SEO, or social media…

1. Working with others should be encouraged

While going it alone, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, is something I’d actively encourage each of you to do, there is something to be said for working with others to bring the best out of yourself. The results can be staggering.

Pretty much every amazing opportunity that I’ve had through my blog is because of someone I’ve known online but then met offline (and then decided to work together on something). The Blogcademy is a prime example of this.

It would never have happened if Gala, Shauna and I hadn’t met up in person in Vegas in 2012. Although they both knew each other ‘in real life’, and I’d met Gala before, it wasn’t until we came together as a trio that the idea was formed. None of us could have done it by ourselves. We all have very different skills and strengths and we needed to put them together to be able to pull it off.

Working with others is so much more powerful than trying to do everything yourself. The wedding industry can be fiercely competitive if you let it, but with the right attitude, it is an infinite pool of amazing talent, just waiting to be tapped into and shared.

2. Spend time on your passion projects

After getting out and meeting other people, my next biggest piece of advice for you if you want to take your business to the next level, would be to invest the time in passion projects. Do things “just for fun” that showcase your talents, stretch you as an artist and keep things fresh and interesting. You never know what path these things might lead you down.

These are the things that will make you stand out in a highly competitive market, and will ultimately attract the right clients for you and your business. But they’re also the things that could end up forking your career in a way you could never have imagined.

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On Self Worth

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Photo from Deutscher Hochzeitskongress, aka the German Wedding Congress, that I spoke at in Cologne this weekend! Yes, that was a HUGE audience – 200 people in fact. NO PRESSURE RIGHT?

I’ve had a crazy month. It’s my own fault though. I booked in too many things, over-commited myself too much, and I’ve been run-ragged because of it. Today’s post is short and sweet, partly because of that, but mostly because the message I wanted to pass on to you this week is simple.

I had an epic moment of self-realisation recently: I place a disproportionate amount of self worth on being busy. By that I mean when I’m busy, over-committed and in-demand, I feel better about myself than when I’m not. I’m shit at being bored and I’m useless at doing nothing.

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How To Deal With People Who Want to ‘Pick Your Brain’

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Dear Kat
I understand the irony of my emailing you about this, but I need your help! I’m a wedding photographer and my business is going pretty well. I’ve been shooting full time for two years now and I’m really proud of how much I’ve achieved. It’s taken a lot of work, but it’s been worth it!

My problem is, I’m now starting to get a lot of emails or private Facebook messages from friends and strangers asking if they can ‘pick my brain’. Sometimes they fire questions at me, but most of the time they’re asking if we can meet for coffee or if they can come and see how I work at a wedding!

While I’m honoured that people think I’m worthy of asking advice, I can’t help but feel annoyed about it. I’ve worked my BUTT off for the past two years to get to where I am, and these people seem to want me to give them all the answers for free! Don’t they realise there’s no quick answer and that hard work and time is really what it takes? You must get a lot of this too so I was just wondering if you had any advice on how I should deal with it?

When you reach a certain level of success, it’s inevitable that people will start to come out of the woodwork and innocently ask you for advice. Yes, it can be irritating, but the fact that this is happening is actually an amazing opportunity for your own business to grow.

Don’t feel bad about saying no!

First off, you should not feel bad for saying no. I say no to people everyday and I never feel guilty about it! You are only one little person and you can’t help everyone. You shouldn’t ever feel burdened by other people’s problems just because they asked you about them.

“Brain picking” meetings are particularly exhausting because they usually don’t have a specific goal. A lot of the time you’ll be trying to figure out exactly what the other person actually wants from you. To me, there is nothing worse than vaguely asking for advice. Let’s drop the foreplay and get to the point already! Does that sound harsh and mean? Maybe a little, but I’m a busy girl, I ain’t got time for fannying around!

If someone is asking to “pick your brain” then the implication is usually that they don’t really know what they want or need, they’re just hoping that you can give them all the answers. I personally avoid these kinds of meetings like the plague.

However I do think that you should always reply to each and every message you get, even if it is to say that you can’t help them. People will generally appreciate that you’ve taken the time to send them a note back, and it shouldn’t take you very long if you create some templates.

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30 Things to Blog About When You’re Feeling Uninspired

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Blogger’s block happens to the best of us. Instead of staring, blankly at your computer screen, here are 30 things you could write about instead!

1. A recent trip you took

2. A business lesson you learnt

3. Your current obsession

4. Make a mixtape!

5. Share some personal photos

6. Tell a story

7. Free write

8. Answer your reader’s questions

9. Interview someone you admire

10. Create a real life moodboard

11. Share your favourite outfit

12. Run a competition

13. Show us your office!

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