Many of us may believe that becoming an entrepreneur is simply the flip of a switch; that one day we decide to quit our day jobs and the next we are full time in the wedding industry. However, I’m here to break the news that entrepreneurship is actually a never-ending journey filled with mindset shifts, daily actions, mistakes and failures, and plenty of wins as well. In today’s episode, I’m sharing 5 key tips for going full time as a photographer or any other creative entrepreneurial role.
On Quianna Marie Weekly, we’re chatting about business growing pains, finding genuine connections, and celebrating wins of all sizes through the lens of a photographer at heart. Sprinkled throughout stories and interviews with past clients, photographers and other business owners this podcast is designed to help you step into your purpose and to truly create a life you’re proud of, a life worth photographing and sharing.
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Review the Show Notes:
You Need To Work At Trader Joe’s (2:02)
Practice, Practice, Practice (4:42)
Invest In Education (8:51)
Part Time To Full Time (12:51)
Client Experience (15:44)
Bonus Tip (17:02)
Mentioned in this Episode:
Episode 5: 6 Ways Honeybook Helped Me Reach 6 Figures
Review the Transcript:
The best way to predict the future is to create it. This is today’s quote from author Peter Drucker. He’s an Australian author and educator, philosophical guy. I don’t know, honestly, I just Googled this quote, and I loved it. So I want to make sure I gave him proper credit. But today’s chat is all about taking ownership of your entrepreneurship. And I don’t know about you, but I think a lot of us often have this roadblock, or we just think that becoming an entrepreneur or owning your own business is simply just a flip of a switch, or you’re just one day away from becoming an entrepreneur.
I hate to break it to sister but there’s actually 1000s and 1000s of days packed with mindset shifts daily action, showing up for things where you would rather stay home curled up on the couch, putting yourself out there are tons of mistakes and failures to hundreds of tiny wins. Those are just as important as the failed. And honestly, it’s just this journey that is never ending. And especially through these times we have experienced recently and businesses shifting technologies being introduced new social media platforms are changing every single day. And it can be really hard to keep up. So I wanted to break down with you today, five different key tips for going full time.
Welcome to Kiana Marie weekly, a podcast for creatives who love to celebrate wins, big or small by dancing in the kitchen photographers who are excited to serve their clients and friends who are ready to chase really, really big dreams. You can find all of the resources mentioned in this episode at Kiana murray.com/podcast. Join me as I share weekly motivation, chat about growing pains, finding genuine connections and celebrating your wins through the lens of a photographer at heart. Come join me for a dance party. Ready? Loves though.
All right, so number one, I literally have written down you need to work at Trader Joe’s. Okay, so I say this with a giggle. But I think it’s really important for you to almost kind of think of an exit strategy or an exit plan for your current job. Because obviously, with entrepreneurship, you’re gonna want your full time creative business to replace your full time income, right.
So maybe you are considering going full time and just quitting your job. And that’s great. But I actually want you to consider picking up another job as like an in between her. So what I mean by that is maybe you are currently working for a corporate job, or maybe you are working remotely from home. But you you just aren’t aren’t meeting enough people. And this is why I say you should totally pick up a part time or full time job at Trader Joe’s, or maybe a local coffee shop. This is where I say like but you could also do this working at a local coffee shop. Working at a super cute local boutique. Basically what I mean by working in Trader Joe’s is making somewhere where you have access to an incredible crew level crew members, which is what we call our employees at Trader Joe’s. And that includes customers and just a whole bunch of I call them characters that you’re gonna meet throughout your lifetime.
Trader Joe’s is full of them, right? Everybody there is so kind, they’re so hard working, they’re friendly, and they really want you to succeed as you are pursuing your dreams. And that is one thing that I truly enjoyed about working at Trader Joe’s I worked there for about six years. And it carried me through college, it carried me right before, you know up until I started going full time with photography. And so I kind of wanted to kind of leave that reminder that sometimes we get stuck and I have to quit this job. I hate this job.
You know if it’s like a corporate job or working remotely and you’re thinking, okay, like I just have to go full time from here, I really want to give you that permission slip to consider something else in between, right? So highly suggest somewhere where you can meet new people, talk about your dreams, possibly even sell your products to your you know, to your friends and to your new network is going to be a great opportunity for you to truly just meet people.
The name of the game for adjusting your job. Before you go full time is to just build. I don’t even want to call it brand awareness. It’s building human awareness, right? Like you want to meet as many people as possible, create those connections and truly build your network. And that’s going to start there. Okay, so that’s number one. Number two, practice, practice, practice. Okay, so I am speaking specifically to photographers, although it is open to all small business owners as I continue the conversation and the podcast begins to grow. So I’m speaking to photographers like you have to make sure your images are sharp. Okay.
Like, there should be no confusion or right like you should be able to shoot in manual, you should be able to know your lighting, know your settings, know your composition, and be so confident that the image that you see in your head by just by clicking a few buttons, you can recreate that in your camera. Okay, and I’m not talking about, oh, well, I’ll just fix it later in post production and Photoshop or Lightroom. No, absolutely not. I challenge you to get the image as perfectly composed and perfectly exposed in camera. And then we can continue to move forward.
Okay, cuz I’m telling you right now, I know our cameras take beautiful images, they do they, I mean, I’ve seen the technology literally grow over the last two decades, okay, like not to date myself. But it’s true. I’ve seen it, that’s a beautiful thing. But that should just be the bare minimum, like our bare minimum should be capturing tic tac, sharp images, and making sure that they’re just, they’re just beautiful. Right? So that takes practice. And a couple key tips I have about this for number two, is bring your camera everywhere. Okay? I don’t know if you’ve been hearing through the grapevine. Or when I say grapevine. I’m just old.
I just mean like through Facebook feeds and those little comment boxes and stuff like that. But have you seen where people are talking about, oh, well, you don’t just bring your camera anywhere, charge your worth, add tax and that can be very discouraging to someone that is just starting out. Right? My challenge for you is to show up, take photos at your sister in law’s baby shower, take photos at your nephews, next football game, take pictures at your next friends giving okay?
Actually whip out your professional camera and take pictures and then create an album for free to share with your family. You can password protect it, you can post it on Facebook, of course, whatever you feel comfortable with, add it to Instagram, create a cute blog post about it, whatever that you feel comfortable with. This is your family.
Okay, like these are your friends. So whatever you you know, feel safe to do. Do it. Okay. And the reason why I say this is I think a lot of people get stuck in our heads thinking oh, well, I’m worth so much. And let me tell you right now sister, or brother, you are worth millions and millions and millions. Like it’s priceless. Like you are priceless. Okay? But we have to understand putting ourselves into rooms, where we can create opportunities for ourself. Right? I can’t tell you how many times this is over two decades of actually photographing people and events that I have gone somewhere. And someone has said, Oh my gosh, you’re a photographer, that’s great. I have a friend who’s looking for family sessions, or I know someone who is getting married. If I didn’t physically have my camera there, that would not have been a conversation starter. Great.
So I just want to challenge you to, you know, when it says practice, practice, practice, I really mean take it everywhere. Okay, it’s gonna help. Most importantly, with your actual tech, like with your actual technical skills with taking photos, but underlining what I even find to be most important, like even more important than that is
is your people skills, right? Is your connection, your ability to walk up to people that you don’t know, your ability to practice and ask people to gather for a photo because I know that sounds silly. But if you can confidently walk up to your own friends, at your nephews third birthday party, right? Like these are like family friends that you’ve known forever, longtime neighbors, and you can confidently ask them to gather for a photo, you’re gonna have so much more confidence on a wedding day to approach strangers. So it starts in our own backyards. It starts in our neighborhoods and in our communities. Just get out and photograph people. Okay? So practice, practice, practice. Number three, invest in education. All right, who this is going to be so huge, and this is actually a really long list of like, tips and tricks underneath this kind of like umbrella of education. But this is so important, babe.
Okay. I highly, highly suggest that you invest in education for workshops, conferences, and basically anything that you can attend in person. You’re gonna have to buy those plane tickets, you’re gonna have to do some research and stay at a hotel. You might even have to share a bed with a stranger. I know that sounds so crazy. But I did that, right. Like I flew across the country. I crashed with the best roommates whether I was crammed into bunk beds, or crammed into queen beds with other girls. I mean, like, I know that sounds kind of crazy. Now that I say that out loud. But like, that’s what we did. Obviously, do whatever you feel comfortable with. But I highly encourage you to get out and invest in these in person educational events. You are going to walk away with tons of knowledge, tons of validation for your business, encouragement, and of course education. And those are all important. That’s what you’re investing in.
But what most people miss the importance of is the actual genuine friendships that you’re going to create at these conferences and workshops. I even want to call it like an elite group of girlfriends, and a couple of dudes I just couldn’t imagine my life without. And what’s awesome about it is once you decide, once you decide that you’re going to pursue photography, or whatever it is that you’re going after, you’re going to surround yourself with like minded souls, you may have different dreams, you’re wise, maybe similar, but different. But deep down, you guys are going to be lit up by a lot of the same things. And so when you can surround yourself with people that not only love you instantly and support you, but get it like someone that can actually get you is just so powerful. And I know that we sometimes have that in our friends at home and our high school friends, and even our cousins that are our best friends. Like they get us like they know us well. But they don’t know the business.
They they don’t often know the social media hacks, and you know, all these tips and tricks when it comes to growing your business online. Like this is just a whole new world. So go out there invest in education to go find your people. Another key tip I have underneath investing in your education is learning the business. Okay, so it’s so important for you to understand what it’s like to develop your LLC, if you’re starting as a sole entrepreneur, whatever it is that you are getting into, like, do your research, understand taxes, understand all these things. And all of this comes by just asking questions, look into hiring an accountant, a local tax person, get your business up and running as legit as possible. If you have questions about that, I know my friend page with a legal page has tons of information to help you get started. Get your contracts in lock.
Of course, I always am a huge advocate for HoneyBook, which is a CRM client management system. And this is so important when you’re first starting out before you go full time because it will create a touch of professionalism. So I know I have a I have a podcast about this. In the past, we’re actually talking about six ways that HoneyBook helped me reach six figures, that was a really fun episode, I highly encourage you to go back and check that. But what’s important about it is that will take you from just being a local friend who’s taking pictures and maybe receiving a Venmo payment or some cash right like this will totally make you go from just like a hobbyist to a professional. So when you can have that all squared away, you’re going to not only look better, like as a business and a more legit business that you’re gonna feel better, you’re gonna feel more confident charging the prices that you that you should be charging. So that all comes with education.
Number four part time to full time. So this is another misconception. I know I kind of mentioned this earlier with key tip number one about working at Trader Joe’s. But I think a lot of small business dreamers, I’ll call them like before they really launched their business or before they actually go full time into their business. I feel like there’s a misconception that they have to go from like working 40 to 50 hours a week to cutting that off, and then just starting their business full time. No, I want to give you the grace period to potentially work somewhere as you are building your business. Okay. And this is how we all did it. We all worked our jobs, like our work, we worked our day jobs, and then we’d come home be exhausted, we’d stay up late being at the like, write like I call her the Google college, right?
Like we just we would just search everything and we would just try to make it work on the weekends and after work. And I want to challenge you that once you get to a spot where you are noticing that you’re booking more people, and that you are building your business like it’s totally okay to literally pick a different job as just simply part time. So maybe that’s working remotely for someone where you’re not, you’re not using those commuting hours against you.
Maybe you can work a part time remote job, or even think way outside the box and maybe go back to your high school days and consider being a nanny where you’re only working for a neighborhood family. Three days a week, right? So Monday, Wednesday, Friday, you pick the kids up after school and eat right so like during the week, you’re only working a handful of hours. Another idea is to consider being a pet sitter. So consider this okay, you’re already living at home, right?
So what if you could get paid to sleep? I know that sounds so silly. And the dog sitting world that doesn’t really work that way. I don’t even know what the going rates are. It’s usually like 30 to like 50 bucks, maybe even 100 bucks a night if you’re like actually doing a sleepover. But how fun would that be to have access to the opportunity to dogs so you get some puppy cuddles and some you know some pet cuddles and then you also get to make money while you’re sitting on the couch.
pursuing you and your business and writing blogs and working on your business like, this is what I’m talking about guys, like, there are so many opportunities out there that we can look for to make money while we are pursuing that dream. And also to give us that safety net. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen photographers really struggle. And when I say fail, I mean actually put their camera down and discontinue working and kind of like pausing their business, simply because they don’t have that income coming in. So they are so dependent on this little baby business that isn’t even walking yet. Right? I know that sounds silly. Before that even gets to that point, it’s so important for us to be financially sound. So anything that we are investing into our business is extra.
All right, and number five is client experience, client experience is going to set you apart from working with more and more people get your name out there, build that brand awareness. And this happens while you’re actually shooting, okay, so I are while you are offering, your services are actually delivered on your products, okay? client experiences everything.
When you can show up and love on the current clients that you have. Create an unforgettable experience, blow them away with just like with your love, right, like you’re showing up for them, you’re serving them, like taking photos is just honestly like a byproduct at this point in the business and in the wedding photography game. And in the entrepreneurship game, like the products that you sell, really are just like a byproduct. And it’s just kind of like a bonus. Okay, I know that sounds silly. But it’s true. When we can pour our hearts into our current clients, they are going to be natural advocators and natural fans like they’re gonna be your super fans that are going to help you book your next wedding book, your next photo shoot, book, your next opportunity.
It really just comes down to how your attitude is and how you are serving them in that moment. And of course, bonus point is just capture a whole bunch of behind the scenes, this is a journey for you. Okay, so maybe you haven’t taken the leap to full time. Maybe you have been full time as a photographer for years. And now you’re trying to scale or get into more online sales, or wherever you’re at on your journey, I want you to know that you’re supported, and that you have the absolute power to just capture everything, okay
Like, I know, that sounds so silly. But imagine yourself like an MTV show, show it for yourself, document yourself, Hyperlapse yourself working, introduce your clients to your social media feeds, just do really fun things that capture the journey of this adventure, okay? Because you’re going to want this content to look back on. And people they’re going to want to experience this alongside you, as you are making these, these big leaps of faith. Okay, because I do think oftentimes, you know, our family and friends and just speaking transparently, can kind of give a give us like a bad rap about oh, like, how’s your little business doing or like, oh, like, You’re so brave for quitting your job, like, I could never do that. Or where’s your next paycheck coming from? I could not live that way.
There’s a lot of like memes going on and just goes kind of like generalized feeling of family and friends maybe not being supportive of us. But I actually wanted to bunk that. And I want to embrace the fact that more people than you think, actually want to see you win. Everybody loves an underdog story. Everybody wants to see people succeed. And this is what’s just, this is what’s gonna set you apart, right? So capture those behind the scenes, baby, take us along the adventure for you. And we just can’t wait to see you thrive.
So I hope you found this helpful. I have quite a few blogs about this, even some past podcasts that I love to continue sharing. And I’m just so happy you’re here. This podcast is evolving. It’s growing. I am specifically talking to a lot of photographers. I’m building up my online shop and creating tons of education for wedding photographers currently, but things are on the move and things are changing. And I’m just so grateful that you’re here. Hope you have a beautiful day and keep on dancing baby.
That’s a wrap on another episode of Quianna Marie weekly. Thank you so much for your listenership and support. You can find the resources and show notes for this episode and more at quiannamarie.com/podcast. I’d be honored if you show your support by leaving a review and rating on your favorite podcast app. Until next time, keep on dancing.