Staying true to this time of year - my first post of 2014 is going to contain a list of goals, both business and personal, that I wish to achieve this year. I'm just going to get right into it...
1.) Book at least 20 weddings for 2015.
I'm at 12 and climbing for 2014, so this should be no big feat considering I have way more time to market myself. The ultimate goal is about 30 weddings a year so Zak can be my full time partner! Totally do-able!
2.) Improve presentation & overall client experience.
Things like quicker turn around on e-mails and edits, meeting over coffee or glass of beer for consults vs. e-mail communication with potential clients, and a surprise added bonus for our newly married couples are just a few of the bullets included in this goal...
3.) BLOG MORE!
I wanted to post twice a week. Yeah. I'm doing okay so far, but I bet it'll be a bit of trick to find the time amidst wedding season, I will prevail. My previous post makes this promise I plan on keeping. But, hey, I'm always up for suggestions, so if there is anything you're curious about or want to share, hit me up!
4.) Throw a client party in 2015.
This is something I've seen other photographers doing and think it is such a cool way to say thanks to past and future clients. We're thinking my first get together is going to be revolved around my brides - a day of pampering perhaps?
5.) Plan shoots I want to do.
This is not to say to I don't love shooting my clients requests, but this year I want to organize some shoots that are just for me. I would also like to host/plan a couple photographer day retreats. Lots of ideas, I just need to make them happen, for real.
6.) Get organized.
More time seems to be the theme of 2014. I really hope I use some of it to get more organized. I always wish I had a little more neat freak in me when it comes to keeping things 'tidy.' I can see this already improving in my home life and in the office, so I hope new habits not only continue, but increase! I would also like to get into a little bit more of a routine with my daily/weekly schedule, nothing too rigid, but just enough to keep my blog and social media posts, e-mail replies, and editing deadlines on the regular. This just means sitting down and creating an outline then STICKING TO IT!
7.) Increase my presence.
I visited a couple downtown West Bend businesses a few weeks back promoting my Small Business Stock Shoots, but need to continue doing so to get my name out in my own neighborhood. Word of mouth and Facebook have been my only means of advertising thus far, and both have been GREAT, but I need to research more ways of making sure people know my name and even better, book me. I've started by making sure my profiles on sites like weddingwire.com are accurate and up-to-date, as well as making a list of bridal shows I would like to attend this year and next.
8.) Book more 'other' shoots.
Experience has made me a wedding photographer. Funny thing, when I was making the transition into professional photographer, I didn't think I wanted to do weddings. I had been a wedding photographer's assistant so I was well aware of (and scared of) the amount of work that goes into shooting and editing a wedding, and definitely aware of (and scared of) the pressure that came along with it, but now with over forty weddings under my belt, I love it. Yes, it's a lot of work and a lot of pressure, I was right about that, but with that comes great reward, right? There's nothing like giving a couple their wedding pictures or video and watching them tear up over the recent memory. But, with that being said, and my wedding count being where it is, I want to spend a little more time this year booking 'other' shoots. Family, child, boudoir, business, seniors, and of course, a few 5.)s.
1.) Three or more mini-vacations.
This one should be no problem! I'm currently planning all three right now! Two minis with Zak on weekends we have weddings a little further from home...one in Door County that I'm really excited about, which also happens to be Zak's 29th Birthday weekend(!) and one near the Dells later in the year. Hopefully one of my loving sisters can dog sit! And to pay my sisters back for all their dog-sitting (past and future) I plan on keeping the tank full on our road trip in April! I'm so excited for this! I've never taken a road trip other than moving to and from Florida, and I'm really looking forward to some quality sister time. It's rare.
2.) Take more pictures.
I covered that last time. But also, I decided to partake in a photo challenge this year. It's only one picture a week... I decided to kill two birds with one stone and do this using my JGM Instagram which I want to make sure stays active. (Scroll down to see my 52 in 2014 Photo Challenge list, wish me luck!)
3.) BLOG MORE!
I included this in my personal goals as well because this blog is more and more serving as a personal diary. I know I'm going to be happy I took the time to write when I look back at the end of the year, well, hopefully happy and not embarrassed that I didn't reach any of my goals. :)
4.) Exercise more.
One of the few negatives of quitting my job, I feel like a sloth. I was so used to serving tables and being on my feet for at least 5 hours a day, which I bitched about then, but now, I find myself missing the 'activity.' I need to get in the habit of longer walks with the #madkidduo. I downloaded a yoga app on my iPad...we'll see. I'm also hoping more photo shoots = more activity.
5.)Learn more songs on the uke.
I say learn MORE songs like I know so many already. ha! I have learned the basic chords of which many songs are played in, but have yet to learn a song from start to finish, let alone be able to sing along. Tis a goal to play at an open mic before the end of the year! Yikes!
6.)We NEED a garage.
Further, Zak NEEDS a garage, further yet, I NEED a garage for Zak. :) We have a beautiful home on an almost acre (in the city!) and don't have much to complain about except, we NEED a garage! Not only do we live in good ol' Wisco, but our love of motorcycles is flourishing fast and we're busting at the seams. MY BIKE IS IN OUR DINING ROOM! So, one of the first things I hope happens this spring is another four walls going up on our property so Zak has his escape to fix and tinker. :)
So there it is, my list of goals for 2014. I am now accountable. But, I believe this list to be realistic and very achievable. After reading it through again, it's really all just about how I spend my time, especially now that I have more of it. I hope you reach all your goals in 2014!
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