My first year in business is winding down. I've taken 10 minutes to be proud of myself then I quickly went on to start thinking about the new year. I've made several mistakes that I don't plan on doing again.
Lesson 1: Paid advertising! I've spent so much money this year paying for ads and listings on popular websites like the Knot and Wedding Wire. I honestly could just kick myself. I plan on fixing this lesson by working on SEO, focusing on making my current clients happy and taking the time to form relationships with wedding vendors in the area.
Lesson 2: If at first you don't succeed, try again. With every mistake that I've made and with every lesson, I've challenged myself to not give up. It is important to take the time to learn what you did wrong so that you don't repeat the same mistakes. When I second shot for the first time, I was so critical of myself. Handing over RAW files certainly made me feel insecure. I swore I would never second shoot again. But where is the growth? I asked the photographer I worked with what she thought about the files and she gave me feedback; I went on to second shoot three more weddings.
Lesson 3: Find yourself, be yourself: the market is saturated with photographers, many of which are so incredibly talented. It is easy to find yourself comparing your work to others: stop. I know it's hard but if it means un-following people on social media so you can focus on yourself: do it. Work on your craft, develop your style.
Are you growing a business? What were some of the lessons you learned this year?