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 PODCAST:
Tips for running a wedding venue and your own business
In the beginning, Sarah had trouble drawing a clear line between her two businesses, Race and Religious and Mint Julep Productions. Once she recognized how necessary it was to set up clear office hours for both, she was able to build both businesses simultaneously. With it then being easier to focus on one business at a time, she was able to navigate both businesses successfully and begin to build her team.
Niche yourself into one area or to do work everywhere
Sarah feels that if you can work outside of your city, but still feel as comfortable as you do in the city you are located in, then it is possible to expand and offer services in another city! For Sarah, New Orleans is her niche, but she does not mind the challenge of another city and does plan weddings outside of New Orleans. Having a niche is important because that is usually where you make the money to pay your bills, but it is always good to challenge yourself with something out of your comfort zone.
Mistakes made on the business journey
In the beginning, Sarah made the mistake of not calling references when hiring members for her team. Sarah trusted her gut and hired people because she was desperate for the help. However, that mistake could have been avoided had she called the references to learn more about the applicants. Once you get to a point to where you are ready to add to your team, you have to have a plan in place in order to grow. If you hire and train someone, only to find they are not a good fit, it can be a waste of valuable time. Another mistake Sarah has learned from is drawing a clear line between being a boss and friend. It can be difficult to take on the role of a boss, but always work towards a place where the roles are better defined. It is important to lead by example and create a comfortable environment for your team. You do not want to make any of your team members fell like they are unimportant or not valued. Also, when first starting a business, it can be easy to become too accessible to clients. The second clients feel as if they can talk to you at all times and expect an immediate answer, that is when things get tricky. Do not avoid confrontation, set your boundaries from the beginning and if needed, have a tough conversation before things get too complicated.
Common mistakes other event venues are making
Sarah offers the service of venue consulting and helps other venues figure out how they can improve their services, restructure packaging, and promote themselves to potential clients. Sarah has helped venues from the ground up by coming up with their own system and then training them to do things on their own. A common mistake that is made is that some venues look at what others are offering and try too hard to make it work for their space/venue. You cannot offer things that you are not capable of offering. It is important to know your business and what your strengths are. Recognize who your clients are, and sell to them and not to other people’s clients.
How to determine which vendors to recommend to clients
It can be difficult for a venue to recommend you if they do not know who you are. Sarah really likes to work with vendors first before recommending them to clients. This allows the chance to get to know them and see if they would be a reliable vendor to recommend. New vendors, who have not worked at Race & Religious, should stop by or reach out and show samples of their work. Another tip would be to schedule an engagement or bridal session at Race & Religious. This allows the chance for the team to meet you, and see your work on property. A mistake vendors should avoid is not being mindful of the rules, because then they will no longer be recommended to clients by the Race & Religious team. Always respect the venue’s rules and boundaries and form a respectful relationship with the team at the venue!
The Wedding Collective
This spring Sarah is excited to launch, The Collective. This is a virtual wedding planning course that brides will be able to purchase as they are in the early stages of planning their wedding. Mint Julep Productions will help guide the brides through the different stages of wedding planning. Throughout the years, Sarah has noticed that some brides want to take on the responsibility of planning their own wedding, but need someone to show them where to begin, while also keeping them accountable. Sarah feels that this course is a great way to have accountability with an expert Wedding Planner. There are several package options that will include video courses, homework and also the opportunity to join a private Facebook group with other brides who are at the same stage of the planning process. Be on the lookout for the launch of The Collective!
“By letting go, it all gets done.” – Lao Tzu
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