Featured today is a vintage + vinyl themed lookbook I shot with Electric Revival Vintage. We hijacked the new Comeback Vinyl record shop in Alpharetta, GA and made some 70’s bohemian magic. Gah! Lovely.
Being able to work with Erica (Owner of ERV) and her team is one of the reasons why it is really important to put yourself out there. This photoshoot was in the works for a few months. We had both seen/followed each other on Instagram and one day I said "I'm going to email her". I was probably standing like Wonder Woman would when I said it. So picture that. And so I did email her. She was thrilled. I was thrilled. We were thrilled together. Being a girlboss takes confidence. When you are first starting out, it’s really hard to be all like “HEY! My name is so and so and I’m here! Look at me!” I remember how scary it was when I first started my photography business 2 years ago, to believe I actually had a gift and then on top of that show it to others and allow them to be the judge. Starting a creative business is like shedding your skin and allowing everyone to see your soul. But its much easier when you start to build a network of kick-ass 'people'.
When you’re up and coming, getting your name, service or product out there is the name of the game. You can’t hide behind your MacBook Air forever. At some point you have to put yourself out there. At some point you need to tell others who you are and that you are here. Helloooo out there! You may be awesome, but everything you want is not going to come to you just because you think you’re awesome. If the right people don’t know about your awesomeness, then how does that help you grow your business? If a girlboss is standing in the woods and nobody is around to....ok you get it.
You need people. And not just people you know ‘on instagram’. You need real-life people. In the beginning of the year, I had no idea how I would do it, but I knew that if I wanted to gain national exposure (and then international exposure) I would first have to start with my own city. I knew I would need people, which meant being on the scene, taking on massive amounts of projects, and building a real-life social network. Of course I got a lot more than I bargained for in the form of the best gal pals I could ever ask for, but had I not put myself out there, I wouldn’t even have them! See how that works?
Oh and speaking of Real Life, I'll be shooting/providing hilarious banter at this event on Sept 8. If you want to make some authentic, real life connections with other girlbosses and have a little drank or two, you should come.
Listen up girlboss, especially the shy or anti-social ones: you cannot underestimate real life relationships. This is and has always been the greatest business tool ever. Online friends and followers are great, but if you want to be successful, people need to know that you are a walking, breathing human who is actually awesome at whatever it is that you do. And honestly, the more people you meet in real life, the more your social media following and participation increases. It's not magic. Talking and walking are just two different things my friend.
So when you are creating an epic goals list of all the business-y things you plan to accomplish in X amount of time, make sure expanding your social circle (offline), and building a network of like-minded people (in real life) is apart of that list. Jay-Z said it best: you need more people. And these are the things I’ve come to personally learn over the past year about why having ‘people’ is awesome:
Having your own ‘People’ builds trust in the minds of other people
Most business owners will say referrals rule their world. Referrals come in all different forms: word-of mouth, simple observation, social media likes, etc. Sometimes just seeing several people utilize the same service is all that you need to know to peak your interest and then actually use them yourself. I have had brides bat not one single perfectly mascara-d lash at me, my rates, or my terms when I meet with them for a coffee and consultation. Why? Because someone close to them that knows me personally and/or has worked with me already has already pre-sold them on me before I said 'Hello'. They’ve told them to work with me and in turn my potential client has already made her decision. In her mind, trust for me has already been established by whomever referred them. So the more people you work with, the less you have to prove you’re awesome and trustworthy and badass. Your ‘people’ will do that for you
Your ‘People’ will make it their life’s mission to find you new business
Seriously. People do business with people they love to work with and trust. Period. And when they love you and what you do, they want everyone else to have that same experience. Not only will your people send others your way, but they will also rep your name to the fullest when someone is looking to work with or hire an expert in your creative field. I have people who don’t think twice about mentioning my name for anything related to a need for photography. And these people know plenty of photographers, this is Atlanta. Theres a hipster photographer on every block and about 40 sitting at Octane-Grant Park right now. So its not like they couldn’t have just mentioned someone else. Your ‘people’ will drop what they are doing to get someone your info and pretend they don't even know anyone else in your field. And sidenote: make sure you do the same for them.
Collaborations with your ‘People’ increases your brand’s exposure to others who may want to work with you (and continues to build trust)
Having a solid network of people will lead to opportunities to do collaborations with new people. Some of my best summer days this year have come from teaming up with new people in my creative social circle that I didn’t know before the shoot, rocking the hell out of said shoot, and leaving with new, amazing friends. Please believe people check to see who you know and who knows you before they respond to your email (if they even respond, some people are...ugh). We all check for references. Every time I work with someone within my creative social circle, it also continues to add that trust factor mentioned earlier. When you stalk search someone on Google, or social media, what are you checking for? You’re checking to see if they (1) actually exist and (2) if other people can vouch for their existence. I do this with business associates AND potential clients. I mean, if I can't Google you, you’re basically a ghost. As far as collaborations go and teaming up with other go-getters, it makes it much easier to reach out to someone when you personally know someone that has worked with or seen them before in real life.
At the end of the day, if you're awesome and you know it, first clap your hands and then second start putting your name out there. Make friends, create connections, build relationships. Although you may be a solopreneur, you cant do this alone. And who wants to anyway? If you have not started making authentic connections with other people (outside the ones you already know, mom and college bestie don't count), I suggest you get on that, asap. People don't bite other people so you got this. #stayfearless
Now take a look at some of this #recordstorerealness!