For a while now, I’ve been thinking about a question I had in my Instagram DM’s a while back. Typically, I’m asked about finding a target client for a specific business, but this time someone asked me, “How do I actually make money in my business?”
I’m going to answer that question today, but first I want you to know that if you’re struggling inside your business, you’re not alone. I’ve been there. And I am not just saying that. I’ve literally been the person hiding my phone when debt collectors called out of embarrassment because I was so broke and just trying to make my business work.
And that’s exactly why I’m talking about this today. I don’t want you to be in that position if you can avoid it.
So as we’re talking about these things, don’t feel bad. I’m here to help you see what you need to be doing, get unstuck, and make shit happen.
First, you need to believe in yourself.
I’m not into the fluffy stuff, or what my friends call the woo woo crap.
No, I want a strategy. I love plans and numbers and having a goal that I know I can make happen.
But one thing I will say is that if you don’t believe you can make money in your business, you’re never going to.
If you’re struggling with believing you can make money in your business, DM me on Instagram and let’s work through some of these limiting beliefs.
I want you to know it doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve been through, how you’ve grown up, where you are in life right now, you can make it happen if you truly want it to happen.
Five or six years ago, I had debt collectors calling me every day.
I mentioned this above, but I would turn my phone off so I didn’t have to hear it ring. Or hide it from my family and friends so they didn’t see who was calling.
Honestly, I went into a really bad depression. I slept a lot, gained weight, and was just really ashamed of the hole I’d dug for myself. No one in my family or my friends truly knew how bad it was because I was soooo embarassed about where I was in life.
I grew up with a family who totally had their shit together. They still do. Yet there I was I so much debt. An amount of debt I didn’t even realize was possible until that moment.
It was a scary time in my life and I didn’t know what or how to get out of it.
But I did have a camera.
I really dove into my business. I looked at where I was, where I wanted to go, and(with the help of a business coach) I created a plan to make it happen.
Now, I own a million dollar photography business in St Louis. I have no debt, and I’m looking at early retirement.
I say all that to say that a strategy is what’s going to get you to that next level.
No matter where you are RIGHT now, you CAN get to that next level if you truly want it.
There are 4 numbers you have to know to create an actionable plan.
- What is your salary goal? This is NOT your total revenue. How much money do you want to bring home each year/month?
- Hours you want to work each week?
- Vacation time you want to take each year?
- Hours do you spend on each client? Can you decrease the amount of time per client with out decreasing the experience you provide each client?
These 4 numbers you just decided on will help you calculate your sales average, which is how we create a price list to meet these goals.
And this is the ONLY way to truly hit your goals.
Create a marketing plan to attract your target client like flies.
It starts with exposure, which is however the client found you, whether that’s a referral, social media, google, whatever. Once they know who you are, they move to discovery. Discovery is when they get to know you and your business. They read about you, check out your brand, your website, blogs. Hopefully join your email list.
This leads them to consideration, which is a lot like discovery in that they are still getting to know your business, but are starting to think about hiring you.
Conversion is when they take action. They book a session or they email you to book a discovery call. They are READY for you,. Afterwords, they become a loyal client and refer all of their friends. The referral drops into exposure and starts the funnel themselves.
This marketing funnel WORKS when done strategically.
In my photography business, my audience goes through my funnel in a super strategic way. My goal after exposure is specifically for them to join my email list if they don’t book a session immediately.
I personally KNOW that once they join this list, I can nurture them into booking a session. My entire marketing funnel is focused on them downloading my lead magnet, which puts them on my list so I can talk them into a session.
The marketing funnel is why nurturing is sooo important. You can’t expect to just start an Instagram and cold DM some profiles. Then, “oh wow!” they start booking your service immediately. It’s not going to work like that.
You have to warm them up… Take them on a journey from exposure to discovery, consideration, and conversion. Then, they love you enough they refer all of their friends.
What does this have to do with those 4 numbers we were discussing earlier?
Once you create this funnel, clients fill up your calendar so fast that you need to know how much work you can actually handle.
Keep your ideal lifestyle in mind. Don’t work your life away. I’ve done that before and I’ve learned that work life balance is way more important than high revenue goals.
Can you see how this entire strategy from finding your target client to actually making money revolves around those 4 numbers you need to know, which are your salary goal, how many hours you want to work, how many weeks of vacation, and how many hours you need per client?
Interactive Workshop: Find the right clients at the right price
If you’re sick of trying to figure this out on your own or you want to talk about where you are right now and how to get to the point where you’re booking the right clients, my DM’s are always open. I would love to chat.
FREE ONE-WEEK CHALLENGE
5 Secrets to Your Profitable Boudoir Biz
Five days to figure out what your business needs to thrive
You’ve got full permission—and all the tools you need—to lay the groundwork for a photography business that perfectly supports the life & career you dream about.