034: Why Integrated Marketing is key to running a profitable business, Dannie Lynn Fountain

Get ready because this episode is FULL of amazing info, strategies and tips when it comes to marketing your business. Dannie is a genius at this stuff and we are so glad she shared so much actionable information for our listeners! And if you want to know more about Dannie: 

Dannie Lynn Fountain is a marketing and business strategist for creative entrepreneurs. Earning her business acumen working in marketing for brands such as Whirlpool and H&R Block, she has a combined 9 years experience as an entrepreneur and strategist. She works with entrepreneurs and corporate clients alike to brainstorm, strategize, and implement strategic plans and processes to better their business and increase their sales. Beyond strategy, Dannie is the author of three books on entrepreneurship, a regular speaker on strategy worldwide, and a digital nomad. Her work has been submitted to and recognized by Cannes Lions, the Effies, and more.

Integrated Marketing, what is it and why it is key to running a profitable business

Show Notes

What is integrated marketing?

Approach to creating a unified and seamless experience for consumers that encourages them to interact with a brand or enterprise at hand. All messaging and communication is all working together as a unified source and consistent in all channels.

Idea that your customer should be at the core of your business and every action you take should touch your customer and ensure they get the same experience, continuity between platforms. 

Why is this important? 

When you aren't consistent it feels like bait and switch. Clients or consumers don't know what they are getting. Be consistent amongst your channels to clients can trust you. 

What do you think of first when you are considering your marketing efforts? 

First, think about what is your passion. Build everything around your core passion and not a THING. 

How do you go about training your audience to know what you are all about and what your passion is? 

  • Be consistent
  • Keep their attention
  • Doesn't always have to be something new, it could be just leveraging your current life/what you enjoy doing into your marketing efforts

Do we have to be on all the social media sites/platforms? It feels like everyone is everywhere so how do we decide where to be? 

  • No....you don't have to be everywhere, let them come to you sometimes
  • Become known for one platform - specialize in one platform, don't spread yourself too thin

How do we know which platform is best? 

  • 50% what do you love, 50% what works best for your audience

Three things for someone who is thinking they want to focus on integrated marketing going forward: 

  • Go on a 30 day industry fast. Its hard to figure out where you want your marketing to come from when everyone else's voice is in your head
  • Go outside your industry to find publications that have nothing to do with your industry and find words that you like
  • Start with a map, brain dump, and look for intersections etc...

Tools!

  • Google Calendar
  • Dropbox scanner for receipts!
  • Honeybook

Where to find Dannie: 

Website | Instagram

 

033: Taking yourself seriously as a Business Owner, Paul & Cinnamon

We are BACK!! After our month and a half hiatus for the summer, Paul and I are back with more episodes of Focus(ed) Podcast. We are kicking it off with a discussion about what it means to take yourself seriously as a business owner and how that plays out with your interactions with your clients, your pricing and all sorts of other stuff! Thanks for sticking with us...lots more awesome stuff to come!!! 

taking yourself seriously as a business owner | www.cinnamonwolfe.co

Show Notes

  • When you don't take yourself seriously, no one else will. 
  • How taking yourself seriously can affect people asking you for discounts, favors etc...
  • Why its hard for new business owners to take themselves seriously
    • the transition is awkward and strange, so we downplay it
    • its hard to sound confident when you feel unsure of yourself
  • How do confidently answer the question "What is your price" when asked in person
  • Taking yourself seriously means you can say no and you can say "I don't know" 
  • Its FINE to not have a "serious" business...its OK to keep your creative outlet as a hobby, BUT don't expect people to treat you like a "serious business"

032: Mistakes & Updates, Paul & Cinnamon

Today we are sharing some updates about what will be happening with the show in the next few months as well as sharing some important mistakes we've made and how we dealt with them! Short episode and Guinness makes a funny appearance. 

We will be BACK in August with all new episodes with some amazing guests who are going to drop some serious knowledge! Can't wait to see you guys soon! 

031: 5 Websites I'm on every day, Paul & Cinnamon

You wouldn't think this but you spend more time behind your computer when running a photography business than you do behind the camera. These are the five websites I tend to be on every single work day and why I'm on them! 

5 websites to utilize every day when running a photography business

030: Balancing your business with your kids, Jill Gum

We are so excited for today's episode as its a subject that gets talked a lot about in facebook groups and forums but I don't really hear it being talked about all that often on podcasts or blogs. What is it actually like to run a full time creative small business while also running a family with small children involved? I don't have any personal experience with small kids....teenagers yes, but little ones...no, so today we are bringing Jill from Jill Gum Photography on to the show to talk about how she has been able to start, run and grow a thriving wedding business while also having two kids under 5. 

She shares tons of great strategies with us today on the show! So if this is you and you are thinking to yourself, "how in the world am I going to manage all of this?!?!?"....listen to the episode and know that you can do it and we are rooting for you!!! 

Jill's professional bio: Jill Gum started her professional photography career as a first time mother and music teacher on an extended maternity leave. After earning her Bachelors Degree in Music Education, Jill taught high school choir for 8 years, after which she resigned to focus on her photography business. She photographs a few portrait sessions each year, but specializes in high-end weddings in Illinois and beyond. Jill is also a blogger, educator, and speaker, offering coaching sessions, newsletters, and workshops for every level of photographer and small business owner. Jill and her husband, Michael, photograph around 20 weddings a year together while raising two toddlers in their country home. She has been featured by a number of wedding blogs and is the Rising Tide Society leader in Springfield, Illinois. Through her educational offerings, Jill seeks to encourage and equip photographers to build profitable and life-changing businesses that afford them the lifestyle they dream.

 
Balancing your business with also having small children
 

Show Notes

Biggest challenge? 

Balance

Biggest benefit?

Flexibility

Strategies to help balancing

  • You have to find a way to carve time out (that is not nap time) to work. Schedule in dedicated work time that isn't just "fit in" where it could be. 
  • Have a separate work space for work. 
  • Before you are able to have dedicated work time, you need to utilize nap time very very well. 
  • Try not to work at night after the kids go to bed. Utilize that time for your marriage. Might not work all the time, but making it a priority is important!
  • Be willing to ask for help
  • Outsource

Three things for people feeling like they can't do it!

  • You CAN do it!!
  • Ask for help
  • Take baby steps - don't compare to others who are not in a similar life stage as you. Decide what is right for your family

Favorite software or apps?

Get in touch with Jill!

Website | Instagram 

029: Staying productive while working from home (Part 2), Paul & Cinnamon

We are continuing last weeks episode with the remaining 5 ways to stay productive while working from home! 

 
Staying productive while working from home
 

Show Notes

5 additional ways to stay productive

  • Take naps
  • Work when no one else is around
  • Don't leave internet browser tabs open
  • Schedule social media posts (I recommend SmarterQueue & Planoly)
  • Eat Lunch! 

028: Do I need brand Photography? Mallika Malhotra of Mikifoto + Co.

Brand photography. What do you think of when you hear that phrase? It's not super clear so we are talking with Mallika from @mikifotoco today all about what it is, why you need it, what it can do for your business, where you can find brand photographers, what they should be asking you and how to balance creative control if you are also a photographer. It is a power packed episode! So excited for all of the knowledge Mallika drops in the show!

Mallika's professional bio: Mallika Malhotra of Mikifoto + Co is a professional photographer and brand story strategist who works with women entrepreneurs and small business owners. She is on a mission to empower thousands of women to own their story with confidence and be the face of their business. She combines her strategic business sense, her creativity and her photography skills to help women in business stand out and emerge as leaders in their industry. She specializes in brand photography, messaging and strategy.

Based in northern NJ, Mallika also teaches live workshops on photo styling, vision boarding and social media. She is known for being a connector and creating supportive communities of passionate and purpose driven women. 

Prior to launching her photography business, Mallika worked at big advertising agencies like McCann-Erickson, Saatchi & Saatchi, and DDB, on global brands like L'Oreal, Oil of Olay and Clorox. She has a Masters in Marketing from Emerson College and a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. 

When she is not taking photos or building brands, she is at home with her three sons and husband, drinking coffee or red wine and dreaming about their next global adventure.
 

Do I need brand photography? 

Show Notes:

Brand Photography....what is it? What is the definition? 

Customized photographs that share the essence or story of your brand. Not only a headshot, they are visuals that show who you are, what you do and what it FEELS like to work with you. A deeper journey of what your business is and what you stand for. 

How do you find brand photographers? And why is it important to work with one?

  • Instagram, google etc...
  • They will ask different questions and think through the session differently
  • Pre-process is much more in depth

How do you prepare for brand photography (especially as a photographer, balancing creative control) 

  • Finding the right person is key. Focus on your brand story and let them take over the execution. 
  • Remaining focused on the bigger picture of what your brand story is communicating is imperative. 

The brand photographer should be asking an extensive amount of questions to really dig in and understand how to communicate the brand story. It is a very strategic and thoughtful process. 

Three apps or software

  • Dropbox
  • Instagram
  • PicTapGo

Website | Instagram | Facebook

Contact Mallika at mallika@mikifoto.com or 352.682.2533 for more information.

027: Staying productive while working from home (Part 1), Paul & Cinnamon

Working from home and staying productive can be a CHALLENGE. #canigetanamen? 

Today, Paul and I are chatting about different ways that I (Cinnamon) has increased my productivity while working in an home environment where there are lots of distractions (and Netflix)! This is part 1 of a 2 part series...we talk about 5 ways in this episode and we round out the last five in next weeks episodes! 

Staying productive while working from home 

Show Notes

5 ways to stay productive:

  • Get rid of notifications
  • Time block
  • Take breaks
  • No go days
  • Batch process

026: Photography Business: How to get started, Daniel Grove

Today Paul and I are chatting with Daniel from Daniel Grove Photography about the bare bones basics (say that three times fast!) of starting a photography business! We cover lots of great information around your mindset at the very beginning, four basic spreadsheets to get you started (they are linked below) and the exact equipment needed in order to get started (its not as extensive as you think!) Its a great conversation and a must listen for anyone on the very front end of their photography business journey!!

Daniels professional bio: I discovered photography early in high school as an extension of my creativity and artistic talent. From there it evolved from a hobby of still life and simple portraits to a full business of varying services. I capture families, weddings, babies, cosplay and everything in between. I love pushing the limits of what can be done in a single photo and making art that will be enjoyed for generations to come. All while making genuine relationships with people and giving them a great experience.

 
getting started in the business of photography
 

Show Notes

Where does someone start when they think they might want to start a business?

  1. Find out what you are passionate in capturing and then also what you are good at (if you aren't good you can learn, but its helpful to be good as well) 

  2. Professional mindset
    1. Have good conversation
    2. Keep good records
    3. Quick response time
  3. Equipment
    1. Know your gear well 

Spreadsheets

You should have these four spreadsheets when you start out. You can use Excel, Numbers or Google Sheets (<---- Free!!)

Daniel has graciously shared examples of all four of these for you to check out so you can use/tweak them for your own use! Just click the links below ;-)  

  1. Financial Records
  2. Lead Tracking
  3. Price Calculator
  4. Photo Locations

What gear does someone need to get started?

You don't need to buy the latest and greatest!! Don't believe the hype! Look up reviews and forums to do research. 

SnapSort.com - for comparing camera bodies 

  • Start with a Rebel, T4i or even a T3i, 80D and a 50mm 1.8 lens STM
  • You don't need a flash to start, but if you want to get one, start out with the Yongnuo brand...Yongnuo 560iv and eneloop batteries. 
  • Get a good memory card. 90mbs
  • External hard drive
  • Pearstone lens case

Three things you'd tell someone thinking about starting a photography business: 

  1. Find a community online, facebook group and a local one to your city
  2. Get a mentor and offer to assist them
  3. Listen to podcasts!! Other good ones - Improve Photography & Photo Taco

Where can people find you online?

Website | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

025: On being an introverted business owner, Paul & Cinnamon

So pumped for today's episode!! Paul and I are talking all about what it's like to be an introverted business owner. This is a subject that I (Cinnamon) is super passionate about and there are a lot of misconceptions about introverts out there and I'm on a mission to tackle those misconceptions and change the way the world thinks about the word introvert. 

Lots of good stuff in the show notes below and even more good stuff in the actual episode so take a lesson!! 

 
Being an introverted business owner | Focused Podcast
 

Show Notes

What does it mean to be an introvert? 

Misconception: Introverts are shy and don't want to be around people. They are in a shell and need to "come out of their shell". 

Being an introvert is a temperament. You are born one way or the other, but we CAN flex between the two fairly easily especially those who are close to the middle of the scale. 

Introverts are easily stimulated by activity, novelty or new situations. Once you get comfortable with people or situations you are still the same person you are just not as overly stimulated by the situation. 

Introverts are normal. There is nothing wrong with being an introverts. Introverts out number extroverts in America. 

Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain

Photo sessions as an introvert 

First photo session where I got paid: got panicky, stomach upset, overly planned, didn't know the family all that well. After the session, felt like got hit by a truck. Totally overly stimulating and was "on" the entire hour so I was SPENT afterward. 

Don't think nervousness before a shoot is specific to introverts, but brand new situations tend to be super hard for introverts and pretty much every photo shoot is a situation that is brand new and has the potential for something to go wrong or happen that you weren't prepared for. 

Sessions and weddings have gotten easier with time and practice but I am still really spent after them due to the amount of energy that has to be expensed. Which leads to the next point.....

Down Time

Introverts get energy from solitude or quiet or self-reflection. Energy tank needs to be refilled after highly stimulating situations. So introverts can tend to tire more easily or need more breaks in order to stay "on" in long stimulating activities. 

Schedule time on the calendar to recharge or not overbook yourself. You will maintain maximum energy levels if you schedule in breaks. 

Phone Calls

Phone calls can be tough for introverts....maybe not necessarily personal phone calls, but business or client calls may be extremely tough for introverts because you may not be able to be as prepared as you'd like to be. 

You can work around this and do what works for you....you can still book clients without jumping on the phone right away. 

Networking

Networking can be terrifying for introverts. Walking into a room full of strangers where you know no one can be intimidating for introverts. 

Introverts can network differently. They don't have to network the stereotypical or traditional way of networking. 

I have learned how to make networking work for me as an introvert. E-Book on Networking for Introverts. 

024: Changing your business name, KC England

We even get a little bit into birth photography and how to make it work when you also photograph other types of sessions! 

KC England's professional Bio: KC England is a natural light photographer based in Eastern Washington. KC photographs families, seniors, births, and weddings and strives to capture light and connection in a beautiful and meaningful way with every session. She lives with her husband, 3 girls (twins, age 15 and a 5 year old) and 2 crazy cats. She loves holidays, traditions, movie nights, home decorating, and Target. She also loves to travel, but being at home is her most favorite place on earth.

 
How do I change my business name, KC England | Focused Podcast
 

Show Notes

16:00: The story of how KC and I met and why a name change for her business even started

17:05: Why KC chose the Leaving a Mark Photography name originally. 

What goes into changing your business name? 

  • Checked the domain right away and bought it right away even before she decided to change her name. She bought just her name domain and didn't add "photography" to the end. 
  • Get the instagram handle ASAP 
  • Did the entire rebranding process. She used Leesa Dykstra Designs.
  • After the rebranding is all done, update all of the places where branding is present 

How did you announce the change or let people know? 

Mostly social media and a few emails to let people know about the change

Official business changes?

  • Not the clearest process, but she did change the name officially with the state for tax changes. 
  • Process was relatively painless and she did it all online. 
  • It will feel overwhelming at first but then everything starts falling into place. 

What has the response been since changing her name? 

Overall there is a greater connection. Before the change people wouldn't make the connection between HER and her business name. 

Things for someone thinking about changing their business name? 

  • Go for it! If you are thinking about it, you are probably sensing a disconnect so start the process! Its never too late as well. Our work is always and growing and changing. 
  • If URL is not available, come up with an alternative and the have your logo as your "official" business name. You can redirect your old URL as well to the new one to handle people who still search for your old business name

Favorite apps/software?  

  • Lightroom
  • Photomechanic
  • Instagram
  • Ink - send actual cards from your phone. GO CHECK THIS OUT!! It's AWESOME!!! 

Where to find KC: Website | Instagram