Dealing with the December Slump & Making Those New Year’s Resolutions

It’s December – everybody is gearing up for Christmas and I mean everyone. It’s like the world stands still and gets covered in fairy lights and glitter. I love Christmas so much that we are always the first people in our street to put up our tree and I totally wind down on work so that I can make the most of this magical family time of year.

What’s important to bear in mind is that your potential clients are doing the exact same thing… Year after year I find that once the leaves start descending from the trees – from around October onwards – the enquiries seem to slow up and get a little less serious. The amount of folk wanting to negotiate on price seems to dramatically go up too and I know that I am not alone in experiencing this. It has been a hot topic in the facebook group for the photographers that have been to Photography Farm in recent weeks, and I have had emails and DMs from other photographers seeking advice on this as well. I have covered discounting before in the Green Room so this article isn’t about that. Instead I want to encourage you to see the bigger picture. I’ve been doing this a long time and I noticed this same pattern year after year. My typical year for enquiries goes a little something like this…

Jan-March: Panic Bookers for that Summer
March-Sept: Organised Bookers for the following Summer
Oct-Dec: Casual Enquiries for the following Summer

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Business Bites: Getting your Business Healthy

Photography Credit: Aline Caron

This week I’ve been seriously considering doing a juice cleanse. Now I’m not one for fad diets and I generally hate talking about anything to do with weight loss but – EUGH – I don’t half feel in desperate need of a detox at the moment. I blame Bri but I think I’m going to see how she gets on before I go into it wholeheartedly! Have you ever done a juice cleanse? What kind of results did you see/feel?

Well apart from thinking about getting my body healthy (that’s half way there right?!) I’ve also been reading a load of things which I hope will help get my business in tip top shape. There seems to be a lot online this week about facing burn-out and how to avoid putting things off… I guess it’s not just me then!

♥ How to Avoid Procrastination
♥ Secrets of successful yoga studios, and tactics to examine ideas that suck aka 5 Steps to Have a Career that Makes the World a Better Place
♥ Burnt Out vs. Time for a Change (YES!)
♥ (An oldie but a goodie) What do you do when doubt everything and just want to stay in bed?
How do you end things with a repeating client?
Soul Selling – My position on sponsored posts and advertising – really interesting reading for bloggers and their readers & advertisers alike
♥ I’m so proud of my girl Emma right now

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The Treadmill

Photography Credit: Olivia Locher

Sometimes I sit here and feel like a failure.

I have a job I love, a husband that makes me so incredibly happy, and a life I never thought I would… but still… sometimes, just sometimes, I feel like I’m a fraud. Like it’s all a front. Like it probably won’t last. Like it’s not real life or something.

I don’t know… do you ever just feel a little bit lost? That the constant pressure for perfection and to ‘be the best’ makes your head spin?

Sometimes I just want to throw my computer out the window and actually BREATHE. The constant need to reinvent, reinvigorate and revolutionise can be exhausting. But it’s vital for any long standing success and sometimes that pressure can be really intense. It feels a bit like running on a treadmill that’s constantly speeding up. I just hope that it doesn’t spin so fast that one day I fall off.

I don’t want this post to be a negative one and I don’t want you to think that I’m complaining… But I guess I just really want to tell myself – and you – that sometimes it’s actually OK to sit back and to have that time to breathe.

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Business Bites: Gratitude, Email & Education

Photography Credit: via The Raw Teacher

I wanted to introduce a links post in the same vein as Thursday Treats the Green Room, and so after umming & ahhing over the perfect name, I thought to hell with it, I’ll just keep it simple, cheesy and memorable. So behold Business Bites!

It also means I’ll get to drool over food porn in my hunt for an image to illustrate this article every week, but that’s just an added bonus.

Here are some of my favourite inspirational, informative and downright useful business related links that I’ve been mulling over this week. Enjoy!

♥ Can a photographer price his worth? (totally relevant to everyone)
♥ If you run your own business and you suck with email, read this nowWhy don’t people email you back?
♥ It’s important to to make note of when things go right
The downside of gratitude
♥ More college degrees?! What do YOU really want?

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8 Skills You Need When Running Your Own Business

It’s no secret that running your own business is hard work. When those heady first few weeks of excitement and anticipation are a distant memory, getting to – and staying at the top of your game can be a constant battle.

So if you’re near the start of your self-employment journey, what are the key skills you might need to give yourself a fighting chance?

1. Be a self starter

One of the things I hear over and over again is people who talk the talk about doing something new but never actually get round to it. Whether it be as small as starting a newsletter or picking a new logo to as big as re-branding or getting a new website made, it’s always the same. Too much talk and not enough action!

My advice? Stop procrastinating, stop making excuses and just do it! I’ve known people who faff over getting the perfect logo or twitter photo or strap line for months and months. Just pick something and get on with it! You are not Coca Cola so it’s OK if you change your mind later and go with something else.

In a nutshell, no one is going to do anything for you or tell you off if you don’t do the things you know you have to. But your business will suffer. You have to push yourself, yourself. You have to be your own nightmare boss, your own deadline setter, your own bank manager breathing down your neck.

2. Persistence

Things rarely happen quickly or without a significant amount of effort and hard graft. Even those people that you perceive to have been an overnight sensation have most likely worked their butts off for a very long time beforehand.

Don’t be put off if you don’t feel you’re getting to where you want to be right away. Persistence is vital. Do you know that most wannabe bloggers give up within the first 6 months? Keep on going… you’ll get there if you want it badly enough.

3. Don’t be afraid to hustle

Competition, especially in the wedding industry, is fierce and to get to the top you need to hustle. Hustle that little bootie off.

As a general rule us Brits (and I’d also say more women than men) hate to be seen to be showing off, but again, if you don’t do it no one else is gonna! You need to sell yourself. You need to put yourself out there. You need to let people know, in no uncertain terms, why you, and only you, are the person they need to book. This is not the time for shyness. So swallow that self-doubt and be loud and proud about your awesomeness!

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Updates to Pinterest & Instragram

“Huraaaah!” was the resounding response that rippled through my Twitter feed when, seemingly simultaneously, two of the biggest social media platforms both made some exciting new announcements last week.

Firstly, Instagram profiles are now accessible online. Obviously Instagram is a phone ap, but it’s great to be able to see everyone’s photos, profiles and bios on your computer too. Plus it’s a huge bonus when writing about your own instagram on your blog as you can now link directly to it without having to use a 3rd party website (statigr.am must be GUTTED!)

My only small complaint with Instagram these days is that I’m a little bored of all the filters. Can an updated set of filters be in the works please Mr. Instagram? Being an Andorid user I’m limited on decent editing aps as it is, so my only option really is to upload my photos to my computer, edit them in photoshop and then re-upload them – it’s a pain in the butt!

Do you think the online profiles will make any difference to how you use Instagram?

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