Home again, after one of the most influential and life changing weeks of my life. If you’re just tuning in, I was fortunate enough to be one of five photographers that were chosen to attend a workshop hosted by CreativeLIVE and Jasmine Star. The workshop was 5 days long, and involved shooting a live wedding. The five days were, well…crazy. Absolutely crazy, intense, fun, life-changing, and amazing.
Many have asked what it was like to spend 5 days with Jasmine and JD. It honestly was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. If you can, once they open up another workshop, GO. It will rock your world and change the way you see your brand and experience. They are two of the most giving and honest and genuine people I’ve ever met.
To try to put into words, what I’ve gained from this experience is not an easy task. I’ve come away lifted, liberated, and humbled. But to try to capsulate what I’ve learned, I’ve made my very own Top Ten Countdown, of things that have “rocked my world”. As I listed my top ten, I found I had two lists, one primarily on the photography side of things, and then one on the business side of things. So today, I’ll share my Top Ten things that I learned from Jasmine with regards to business and branding.
10. CREATE – Are we creatures to our circumstance or creators? Chase Jarvis quoted Owen at Viget.com, saying “It’s easier to be inspired than it is to create”. I have often found myself busy being inspired, but not creating. Create connections, be involved in the photography community, create experiences for your clients, create conversations, create BUZZ!
9. Be INTERESTED – Instead of trying to get 200 to be interested in you, become genuinely interested in 2 people. Pay it forward, help others, again…get INVOLVED, and it the return will always be greater.
8. Under Promise, Over Deliver – This one is pretty simple. If you are always delivering more than you promise, then everybody is happy. There are SO many ways this is possible. I feel like I’ve always been trying to promise the sun, moon and stars to make clients happy, and then trying so hard to accomplish that. Promise the sun, and then moon and stars are a happy bonus.
7. Create “Don Kings” – Don King promoted some of the best professional boxers including Muhammad Ali, and Mike Tyson. As you share with a bride and groom their wedding photos, they immediately become Don Kings for you. But what happens when you share a same day slideshow to 50+ people at their wedding?
6. 80/20 – A successful photography business is 20% photography, 80% business. This one is huge, as I’m learning that it’s not ALL about the photos!! It’s about the experience. A bride and groom should like their photos before they even see them. Great photographers don’t take or make great photos, they create great branded experiences, and tell the story THROUGH their great photos.
5. Connect and Repel – This blew my mind. Connect with brides that relate to YOU, repel brides that may not be the best fit. More on this later…
4. Leverage Strengths, and Outsource Weaknesses – Now outsourcing isn’t for everyone, but KNOW your strengths, and expand them. USE them, leverage them, and make them even stronger. What makes you different? Jasmine is one of the best at knowing her strengths, and knowing her weaknesses, and growing where she’s strong, and getting help where she’s weak. There is nothing wrong with having weaknesses, just know how to use them.
3. Branding – Wow. This could have it’s own top ten list, but brand. Everything. A logo is not a brand, but a symbol of a brand. A brand is an experience, even a feeling. I have SO far to go with branding!
2. KIR! – Keep it real. Don’t fake the funk. People are naturally attracted to people that are REAL. “Leave your ego at the door” and K.I.R…Keep It Real!
1. Be YOURSELF – My favorite. Why? Because I feel liberated in a sense that, if you keep it real, and BE YOURSELF, then people will love you for it. OR, they may hate you for it, but remember, connect and repel. The ones that hate you for it, probably wouldn’t be a good fit to begin with. Before going to the Jasmine Star workshop, I felt like I already knew her. I’m sure she has received the comment “I feel like I KNOW you!” many, many times. She’s real, she’s herself, and so people relate to her.
Again, what an incredible experience. Not a workshop on photography, but on YOU, on me. Thank you Jasmine and JD and the CreatieLIVE team for an unforgettable week.
Photography Top Ten coming tomorrow!