So, I finally decided to put my butt into gear and actually do this as a business, not a hobby.
I've been pulling together some stuff for marketing - trying to figure out what is going to put me above all the local talent - and then stay ahead of all the new people also trying to get in.
I composed a mantra:
Who I am:
I capture memories to help illustrate your life's journey
I love individuality and channel that love through my work
This I know for sure: a spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down...
I believe in letting people shine through their portraits
True customer service is built upon trust and satisfaction - two things I strive for absolutely!
I revamped my website to make it look a lot more professional, created new business cards, and have been striving to put out the word about portrait parties. (by the way: anyone want to host a portrait party? It's FREE!)
I've got the beginnings of an e-mail list, and am now putting together a more professional facebook page.
I've got new programs (CS5 and darkroom) and a new way to run my business (phone calls - not e-mails, an in-person [or Skype for some of my out of town customers] consultation, and also a separate appointment for ordering. Also a limited amout of time for online ordering if my customer opts for it.) and I'm also now trying to re-vamp my prices so that they reflect me and how I value my time, not just what I think is going to make people happy so they nickel-and-dime me to death.
The negative side of this is that I feel I'm neglecting my boyfriend a little, but I also know he understands that set-up takes time. *sigh* I love my man. ^^
BUT, the positive side is I'm already seeing an increase in business. Two weddings out of nowhere and a senior portrait session coming from across the state. (woot!) Just after a couple of weeks of doing introverted marketing. lol. As soon as I put my social skills into play, I may be able to see going to do my 9-5 just part time (though I'm digging the cell phones. I'm loving some of the great camera apps and features the smart phones are coming out with!)
Until next time...