Major Myths About Business We Need to Debunk NOW
This episode is sponsored by Nicole Bruce Education, with an educational series launching in Summer 2019 on the Pyschology of emails, pricing from A-Z, and how to start a legal business.
Join our FB group Profitable Photographers to get in the know!
Hey Guys! It’s Nicole. I figured we hadn’t had too much time to ourselves lately, so heeyyyyyy. We’ve had some amazingggg guests on the channel lately and I hope you’ve been enjoying our chats.
Today I want to take a step back to debunk a few myths that are flying around out there about business.
MYTH #1- Creatives Don’t Make a Liveable Wage
The first myth I want to debunk is that creatives can’t make a lot of money. UH HELLER, have you seen all these wedding professionals that make $10k+ per wedding. I was talking to a wedding pro I met on the street (literally) the other day and he said he had one package that was $60k for photo + video. YOU GUYS. This was someone I met on the STREET. It is SO possible to make money at being creative in whatever you do. Don’t even let someone talk you down from that. On a little scale, hey, I make 6 figures and guess what? My ex boyfriend told me there’s way too many photographers, why would I want to photograph? Well, there’s a reason he’s an ex right?
GUYS, in this age you can literally make money however the freak you want to make money. Like literally. There are professional snugglers for goodness sakes that are PAID to snuggle people. Haha, now if that’s not a sign that we’re living in the creative future where anything is possible, idk what is.
MYTH #2- Your Business Has to be Consistent
The second is the myth that you have to have it all figured out. I can tell you right now that I literally was in EVERY field ever from middle school (I started early) all the way until college. I literally worked in construction, I was an organist, a teacher, I worked in retail, I had a tutoring company, I had a party company, I painted houses, I took pictures, I’m working on another business now as we speak. I tried it ALL. Like literally. You do not have to have it figured out even if you’re 30. I hope you’re still saying “when I grow up” at that age. There is gobs of opportunity everywhere, and your interests do NOT have to stay the same. At all. Ever.
Even when you start a business, things are going to change. My first photoshoot was a friend’s maternity. My second was a family. My third, a wedding. I literally took anyone that would give me money.
One of the biggest things that confuses me about business owners and their advice is that you have to be consistent. You do NOTTTTTT have to be consistent at all. You need to change with the times. Maybe your income was 6 figures in wedding photography last year, but this year it’s just not flying. You don’t like it, or maybe it’s just not grabbing the same. Well, then drop it! What do you like now? Painting? Family photos? Knitting? Whatever your heart wants to do is what you need to do. Your business is 100% going to change and that’s okay.
MYTH #3- Nikon vs. Canon vs. Sony
This myth is probably the one that is considered my pet peeve. It. Drives. Me. NUTS! It’s probably going to be the touchiest Myth for some of my listeners as well, if you’re really boated into this myth. (So I do apologize if this hits a nerve or if you did just spend thousands switching over)
I absolutely cannot deal with this myth because it’s perhaps the biggest one of them all. It’s the one I CONSTANTLY see in groups where people ask what brand they need to go wtih. Recently there has been a trend for everyone to sell everything, start over, and switch to Sony. And this proves the myth right here. That’s all equipment really is - a huge trend.
Nikon. Sony. Canon.
Yes, they’re all slightly different, but guess what? They’re all GREAT (and I’m a Canon user calling Nikon great - where’s the war?!)
It literally does not matter what brand you use. You are going to get great images, even if you use a polaroid camera. Your equipment does help you create better composed images because well, if you have a higher tech body, better glass - it’s simply harder to mess up (I know, ouch, but hey - great equipment is just easier to use).
The truth is, if you have the world’s worst camera and you’re a good photographer, your images will still reflect that. The talent is all in the way you USE the camera, not the camera itself.
End rant. If you aren’t flustered now, let’s move on to myth 4, a popular one that will probably really help you out.
MYTH #4- Your Editing Has to be Consistent
Now, for photographers another myth we need to debunk right now is that you have to be consistent in editing (insert the silly spongebob meme right here). Right?! Okay. Your IG doesn’t have to be perfect when you start. Please scroll back on mine and cringe. It was bad, but IT’S FINE. You shouldn’t be consistent when you start, or even 3 years in. Should you use the same presets? Yes, but that takes a hot while to get to. You need to do a hell of a lot of experimenting before you get to that point. Honestly.
When I started I was using hand edits by Kelsey Freeman (btw look her up because she’s amazing and no I’m not getting paid to say that). BUT the issue, I had NO FORKING clue what I was doing. My photos looked like straight up trash because I had no idea how to edit. Some of my stuff was super dark and trying to look fantasy, and some of my stuff was really light.
I found these presets on Etsy (GUYS PLEASE DON’T) and I was just slapping them on my photos like you slap PB and Jelly on bread. It was so. Bad. I don’t know why someone didn’t call me out for sucking so bad honestly.
I bought literally every preset on the dang market, including SMAL and Dirty Boots Messy Hair and Kelsey Freeman and god knows how many other ones. I literally bought them all.
I wasted SO much money on finding one that would work for me, just to find one that I kind of liked and then change it up SO much it didn’t even look like the preset anymore.
My biggest mistake was looking at other people’s work and saying OH, I LOVE THAT and then going for that look and HATING it on my work. I’d look at light + airy, do it, and it’d look like trash. (Or it’d look fine but I’d hate it)
If you’re still looking for “your style”, let me tell you it takes a while. I did a LOT of sessions, hours and hours and hours of editing, and ya no, it took me a long time.
MYTH #5- Your Pricing Has to be (Insert Here)
Pricing. Okay, take a deep breath.
I’m in SO many Facebook groups where people ask, “what should I charge?”
Okay, first Cost of Doing Business. But more importantly, you CANNOT ASK PEOPLE THAT. They have no idea what you need to be charging and more importantly, they literally don’t matter.
That was harsh.
What someone tells you you’re worth is not what you’re worth. You’re worth as much as you put that price as. You’re worth $100 if you want to be, or $10,000 if you want to be. How do boutique businesses get started? A lot of people think wow they must have like 100k followers on Instagram and basically be famous.
They get famous because they throw that price up there.
India Earl explained how she got to where she is as “if you don’t try, you’ll never know” (not an exact quote, but the jist)
Now, do I recommend you have your business and client experience down first? Yes, yes I do. Please don’t just start and then the next day, day 2 of picking up your camera ever, throw $10,000 up there.
But, you are worth what you think you’re worth. People will pay what that label says.
MYTH #6- Saying No Hurts Your Business
The last one we actually talked a little bit next week with an awesome guest, Laura. Why saying no isn’t a bad thing. You can go listen to that episode in full and hear her story about why Ziva Meditation has grown so quickly. But let’s get down to the nitty gritty. I want to talk about the uncomfortable things I see as I scroll through Facebook and why you can avoid them and SHOULD avoid them.
Saying No to People that just don’t fit your business model:
If you say no to someone most people think, man I’m going to lose a client, I’m going to lose money, my business is going to die. It’s actually the opposite. Let’s say you have a client who wants to take senior pictures for their high schooler, but you want to only do family photos. Are you going to lose out on that money? Yes. Are you going to end up growing your business because you’re only going to be getting families and not families AND seniors? Also yes. Which one is more important?
Saying no to cheap clients:
Now, let’s say that you have a bride that says she only has a $500 budget and your package she’s asking for is usually $1000. You really need the money right now. Okay, but think about this. You take this wedding and she tells her friends that you have really sweet prices at only $500. Welp, now you have to say no to 5 more people that ask you that same question.
-As a general rule, those who don’t appreciate your pricing and try to talk you down really don’t value you or your services. It’s harsh but the truth.
Saying no to nightmares and red flags:
Another situation that happens a LOT: Let’s say you talk to a bride and she mentions only wanting specific angles and that she wants you there 12 hours and that she wants to look the same height as her groom when she’s a foot shorter. YIKES. In this situation, are you better off making that $1000, or even $5000, to know that she’s going to complain and be ungrateful the whole time? Nope, probably not. I’m not sure about you, but these clients literally give me nightmares. Like they make me want to cry. I would gladly not take a $5000 client if it meant I was going to be straight up miserable the entire time. PASS.
Let’s say you book that client and they criticize every engagement photo that you make and want you to photoshop them, etc etc. You have 100% power to tell them no and not do their wedding. IT’S OKAY. This is YOUR business, and you have 100% control. Make sure that your contract has in it that you can turn away clients at any time if you are threatened or feel endangered OR if it’s just not a match. Also make sure you have an artistic clause which justifies you to create your work and them not tell you what to do the whole time.
In the end, your business is exactly that - YOUR BUSINESS. You are literally the only one that runs that business and guess what? That gives you full say on everything - who you work with, what you serve, what you price your items or services at.
Most entrepreneurs start their businesses to have financial freedom, to not listen to a boss anymore. If you’re limiting yourself by listening to others, you basically do still have that boss. You’re not using your freedom that you started this business for.
Make the most out of your freedom. It’s incredible that we have opportunity everywhere, that we form our own lives and create what we want to create. Please use it.
And if others try to restrict you -
You just do you, boo boo.