This is both my online business and personal journal where I share all of my photography and business projects! Allow me to introduce myself...I am Catherine Guidry, a Louisiana wedding photographer. I am passionate about documenting life but more importantly...living it! <3 My favorite things to do are bike ride with my husband and brainstorm new creative projects! I am all about meeting new friends and can't wait to meet you!
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Welcome to my blog! This is both my online business and personal journal where I share all of my photography and business projects! Allow me to introduce myself...I am Catherine Guidry, a Louisiana wedding photographer. I was raised in a small town but consider myself a big dreamer. My favorite things in life are spending time with friends and family, bike riding with my husband and working on new creative projects! I am all about meeting new friends and can't wait to meet you!
WHAT YOU WILL HEAR IN THIS EPISODE:
Key factors to building a solid business foundation :
When Kristin first began mentoring other creatives, she noticed that most of these people had something they were extremely excited about, but they just dove in head first when starting their businesses. They did not take the time to think everything through and first create a business plan and a proper pricing strategy. There are many underlying foundational pieces that are easily missed and these are two of the main items that must be mapped out. It is also important to understand why you are getting into business! Once you understand all of these pieces, you will have more potential for long-term business success!
Mistakes made regarding pricing and being profitable :
A common mistake people make when first starting their business is charging what other people in their market are charging. Rather than researching what would work best for her wedding planning business, Kristin chose a pricing structure that was similar to others in her industry.
You need to make decisions regarding pricing based on your own business and what you have to offer. If you figure out a unique value that you can offer clients, you then have the ability to charge more. Do what makes sense for you and do not worry about everyone else!
Another mistake Kristin made was undercutting the market in order to get herself in the door. The clients she was hired by were not necessarily the best fit for her and she overworked herself. Due to so many weddings, details began to fall through the cracks. There is a range of what to charge, and if you find yourself in that acceptable range then your business will be okay. It all comes back to knowing where your numbers should be based on your experience, and charging enough that you are still making a profit.
Mistakes other creatives or business owners are making :
Very few people research their market before diving into their businesses. Spending time researching markets and learning what clients are buying and what they care about are key pieces to starting your business! In the wedding industry, the Wedding Report is an excellent research tool to figure out who you should be targeting as your potential clients and how you can market yourself.
Another strategy is to look at what other people in your industry are doing and what they are charging. If you do exactly what others do and charge similar to what they charge, what will make your business stand out and determine why people should hire you?
Cost-based vs. Value-based :
Cost-based is essentially determining your pricing based on numbers. You get this number by breaking down how much you want to make, how many clients you want to book, etc. which determines how much you should charge.
Value-based is where you cannot always count on the numbers, because there are other factors in play. What are your unique values that allow you to bring more to the table? The more valuable you are to your client, the more you can charge. Your experience, background, skill sets, and creativity are a few factors all contribute to your value. It is best to find the sweet spot between both cost-based and value-based. This is how you can best determine what to charge and how to sell your value. Really dig deep and find your strengths that are different from other's strengths. Ask your friends, family and past clients and see if they can help you determine these qualities!
Where to start when creating a Business Plan :
It is important that you have some sort of a business plan, whether you are just starting your business or you have been in business for years – it is never too late to create a plan. It does not necessarily have to be a traditional business plan, but there are key components to think about when planning out your business. Examples would be: Who is your ideal client? What is your pricing strategy?
If you sit down and really think about these key components, you will find more success for your business in the long run.
Listing prices on a website :
While there are many schools of thought on this topic, Kristin thinks that you should at least give people a starting price on your website. This will help weed people out and give potential clients an idea of what you cost! It can be frustrating to read an entire sales pitch, and find no information regarding price! On the other hand, it is important to not give all of the details away. You still want to be able to still sell yourself and your value to potential clients!
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“I don’t believe in work. I only believe in creating value.” – James Blacker
Kristin Kaplan Website
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