Aloha and welcome to another episode of the PBH! Glad to have your ears tuning in, as always. I’m coming at you from the west. I just finished a 2-day business workshop in LA, and I’ve stopped off in Denver for a few days to hang with family before heading back to Minneapolis.
It was so inspiring to do this workshop. I was invited as a guest to see if I want to join the group…and what a group it is. These folks are all killing it in business, mainly as coaches. Some folks in the group are celebrating their first 250k month…yes. I said 250k+ a month in businesses revenue.
Needless to say, it was a very interesting room to be in. And as they say, if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. So if you’re feeling like you want your brain cells stimulated and your business mind stretched, find a group of mentors and colleagues you can connect with and learn from.
If you don’t know where to start, you can join listeners of this podcast, other photographers and creative business owners, in our private facebook group. We are a growing community that supports each other, and occasionally we do fun & free workshop meet-ups, too.
Or just search photo biz help with Natalie Jennings when you’re in FB.
One more quick thing before we dive into today’s content, another review! Reviews are a great way for me to hear about what you love. They also help boost a show’s search ranking if new listeners are trying to find it. So thank you to all of you who have taken a minute to leave a review.
“I’ve listened to 5 podcasts so far and I love all of them. Natalie has so much great information on running a successful photography business! I would recommend her Photo Business help to anyone who is trying to get there business up and running! Thank you Natalie, I look forward to more podcasts!”
Thank you so much, Laeti, for showing this show some love & support! I really appreciate it. If you’ve been listening and are finding value from this show, share a little love and leave a review! Go to jennings.photo/review. That’s jennings.photo/review to support the show & leave a review for the show.
Okay, let’s dig in. Today I’m sharing a list of 7 common roadblocks business owners struggle with and suggestions for how to avoid them.
First, and a BIG one that I hear about often:
Disorganization is a roadblock that negatively influences more than great content creation. It can impact every area of your life. And the worst part is its tendency to accumulate. This means that the more you push things off, ignore putting things into some kind of system, the harder it is to stay afloat and dig yourself out.
Whether it’s your digital desktop or underwear drawer, lack of a system causes you to misplace important items, take much more valuable time out of your day in search of lost items, and make many simple tasks much more complicated.
My favorite organizational suite of tools for my business comes right from Google. Google Drive is inexpensive and is such an easy way to keep things organized. All of my content for each of these episodes, for example, has its own folder. Here I have topics, cover art, audio files, etc., all in one place. And once you get into your own new habits of organizational discipline, it gets easier and easier. I love Drive because I can look up anything I need from my phone, too.
Long To-Do List.
According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, productivity is defined as “the effectiveness of productive effort.”
So maybe we have the wrong focus.
Perhaps before we focus on checking all those boxes as finished, we first need to look at how effective the things we’re doing actually are. Are you keeping busy and checking off a lot of items? Or is the one big item you checked off last week actually moving you closer to your goals?
We all have lists. For many people these lists seem to get longer, more disjointed and complex, the more they are ignored. Next time you want to make a dent in things, ask yourself what’s really necessary to help push you forward and what can wait.
Check out a fabulous book on this topic by Cal Newport called Deep Work. He covers a number of topics related to focus, my favorite is practicing focused work stretches without any other distractions, including phone calls and social media alerts. The more we dive into longer stretches of focused work, the more productive we become.
Maybe it’s product sales or Instagram likes, but you’re not alone when you feel the numbers drop. Low traffic, engagement, and participation numbers are something we all experience at some point in building a business. Maybe you’re a superhero social media poster, posting regularly and interacting with others, too.
Yet the numbers aren’t really budging for you. Why?
There are a few things that challenge our business growth, but there’s one big thing I see many folks in this boat have in common: haphazard goals.
Knowing what you want your ideal client to do (like it, email you, buy something) with the information your throw at them is a vital step in the direction of gaining the engagement you’re after. So the next time you go to post something or create content, think about who you’re writing that content for and next, what do you want them to do when they see it?
You may have a goal in mind for your business but you’re still feeling overwhelmed by everything on your list and all the things that need to get finished in order to get you there. Overwhelm is real, and it doesn’t feel very good.
You want to move purposefully toward your goals. You want to know what actions you need to take to get you to the next step. This is why strategy is so important. It can be as basic or complex as you’d like, but having a fixed date for your goal, the items you need in place to move toward it, and a calendar that reminds you of where you are in the process makes all of the difference.
If you can’t measure something, you can’t improve it. Try getting more specific with your goals, like blogging twice a week instead of blogging more often. This will keep you accountable and knowing what’s on your agenda eases feeling overwhelmed.
I think too many of us are over-analyzing what we think people will like, opt-into, buy, etc., and ignoring a hugely important fact: does it light you up?
I’m not saying you need to feel like doing cartwheels every time you write a blog post or draft a newsletter. That might be a little weird, or require illegal substances to achieve regularly.
I’m suggesting that you ask yourself if this is something you enjoy making. Like right now, as I write this, I’m reflecting on the fact that I really love helping other people by sharing stuff that’s worked well for me. Pretty simple, but it helps me to create content I can stand by.
Unless you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, you’re likely attracting customers and clients online. This might seem pretty basic. Are you making connections over various social platforms willy-nilly and then exchanging email addresses or price lists? Where are you sending people?
You might already have a website. Well-done you. It’s vitally important to the success of your content creation process to have a central place to send people. Not only does it help over time with your search engine ranking on places like Google, but it gives new visitors a lot to browse through in order to decide if they’d like to work with you or buy your product.
So if you don’t have a regular space to send folks, put website and blog at the top of your list.
No Free Time.
Do you feel like you’re always trying to stay on top of your social accounts, blog posts, newsletters, or other pieces of content you create for your desired audience? Content creation is time consuming. There’s planning, creating, sharing, and following up, just to name a few pieces.
With a proper approach to creating great content, you will significantly reduce the amount of time spent flailing around social-land and increase the amount of free time you have for other things. Once you do this, keep that space dedicated to the things that you love to do. Maybe it’s cooking or yoga or woodworking. Think about what you would like more time for, and make it a goal to free yourself from the grips of constant content creation.
If you’ve made it this far and would like to learn more about how to do these things and create great content, check out Content Creation Class. It’s a system I’ve created to help creators implement strategies and organize their process in order to be more effective and efficient! www.jennings.photo/ccc
I’d like to leave you on a high vibe with a quote I found from the amazing Hiro Baga. She says:
“A small shift in perspective is a lever that you can apply to create a massive shift in your experience of the world and your place in it.
Energy is malleable — it can morph in an instant. Look around you. You, and everyone and everything around you, are soul made manifest.
The moment you recognize and act from this truth, you shift out of powerlessness and land in the infinite powers and capacities of soul.
You can change the world by applying your soul's power precisely at the fulcrum of your desire and intention.”