Brand Photography | Booth Parker, CPA
Shifting seasons are necessary in life and business. Your kids grow, you gain wisdom and perspective, and your business also grows up in many ways too. I don’t know many business owners that are exactly where and how they started 5 or 10 years in. In fact, growth, change, and pivots are necessary in today’s world of business….and if we learned nothing else in the pandemic…we certainly learned that!!!
Booth Parker, CPA has been my client now for years…in fact, we are heading into her 3rd year with me. We’ve often talked about the shifts and changes in life and business. In fact, she just gave a fabulous keynote at the Crystal Coast Women in Business a few weeks ago where she focused on this idea of the journey and making necessary pivots.
As I look back at sharing her recent brand photo shoot, I thought about these three main ideas around learning what you love to do, who you love to work with, and you begin to decide on the work you enjoy in the specific life season that you find yourself in.
I know for me personally, I so enjoyed each genre of photography that I’ve worked within. I LOVED families and it was so easy to shoot in the evenings and on weekends when my kiddos were little. I also LOVED shooting military homecomings because we lived on base in Hawaii and it was easy to pop over to the flight line when a Marine or Sailor was coming home to their family. That was a blessing of a season…but once our kiddos got older and my husband moved to Quantico and commuted home on the weekends, that was no longer working for us in that season. Our only family time was on the weekends when he was home. And he would often be gone for weeks at the time with the President (Obama and Trump)…so when he was home, you better bet that I was not going to be working. So what did that mean for my business that only worked for families on the weekends?!?! It meant that I had to redefine my business. I had to pivot and shift. I had to decide that in order to stay in business, I had to do new work.
That’s when my Senior photography era began.
I took Senior clients during the week because our girls driving and had after school practices that bought me a little time to work with clients. I scheduled shoots around game days and when I needed to be a mom uber driver!! hahaha. Kevin moved home and was available to start dinner with the girls a few nights a week. But I made the pivot work. And my business grew.
Then our girls all went away to college and I had begun working with business owners for branding photos years earlier. With it just being Kevin and I at home, I hated leaving him alone several nights a week…before it was a great time for him to hang out with the girls and have dad time with them….but now, I wanted to be home in the evenings. And I knew it was time for a new season.
That’s when my Brand photography and coaching era began.
I work with clients during working hours in my studio and on location in their businesses often times. I coach on zoom and teach classes in new and exciting ways. And my business grew.
Do you see how the dance of life and business can be done? The seasons often dictated my work journey…I’ve had to bend and sway in many ways…but I’m so thankful for the opportunity to grow in business for the last 15 years.
Booth Parker too has had a long business journey…from her corporate finance days in the family business to starting and growing a clothing company, to teaching personal finance at the high school level and creating a thriving personal blog, to now taking private family and small business CPA clients. She’s kept her finger on the pulse of her personal life and her work life…and she’s learned to truly value the season of life she’s in and work through it versus chasing things that simply are a “not right now”.
I thought I’d share a few ways that you can navigate shifting seasons in your business…especially regarding your branding.
1: Show people your new offers and create content talking about it…share all the ways you help people, the problems you solve for them, and how they can work with you. Create the content that show people the value you bring to the table. You may have to (ok, you will have to) talk about it over and over and over again. Show people, show people, show people.
2: Stop showing what you don’t want to do anymore. It doesn’t mean you’ve stopped with your current offerings…just do it behind the scenes and only showcase what you want to sell or do more of! Many of us may still be shooting genres that we no longer advertise…I still have a few senior clients on my calendar this fall…in a very limited capacity…but I still shoot with families that I’ve worked with before or that were my kindergarten students. I know business owners that are still doing jobs for clients they’ve worked with forever even though they no longer offer it publicly.
3: Begin working with clients or selling the offer or products behind the scenes to test it out. Maybe add a few clients into the new offer or start selling the new product behind the scenes to current clients or at a craft fair. Test it out, see what is working and what what isn’t working…make necessary tweaks, and then you can do public launch. This is what we call Beta testing. Many educators do this with a new course or coaching offer…they test it out, get results and then use those testimonials and case studies to promote the public launch. They did a soft launch…restaurants do this too with new menus. They will invite a private party in and get feedback on new items. Consider how you can do this in your own business…what would it look like?
Shifting seasons are necessary in life and business. And it’s been such a gift to be able to share my journey with other small business owners who have helped guide the way…and it’s been an even great gift to be front row, cheering wildly as my clients have entered new seasons and invited me along to help them with branding. I hope that as you look ahead into 2024, you have the confidence and determination to make necessary changes to grow your business and make everlasting impacts within your community.