This year I’ve taken a very active role in trying to make my business something I’m proud of. I love thinking about business because it is an extension of who I am. I choose to see it as branding and marketing, though both in non-conventional ways. When I say branding, I really mean figuring out who I am, who I want to be and how to manifest that. And when I say marketing, I simply mean building a community. So this year I chose to do more for my business, but sometimes I get frustrated with how theoretical it can all become. Learning about oneself and having goals for business are very important in a successful career, yet sometimes I just want a few concrete steps that I can take to make my business more successful.
When I went on this mission, I became a lot more responsible in the process. I found motivation by wanting to be my best self not only when presenting my business to other people, but also in how I ran it behind the scenes. These are the five ways in which I started to transform my business…things anyone can do to liven up their work life.
1. Visually interesting documents.
When you can show a client what you do and the information associated with it, instead of telling them via text, it will be more memorable, show that you put time and effort in that part of your business, and it will look great for branding.
2. Photograph your work in print.
If you are able to create a nice visual presentation of your accomplishments – whether it is photographing a magazine feature, a gallery show, a session with a client for BTS material, or something else entirely – you are sharing part of your process, and your success, with whomever is there to look at what you do.
3. Answer your emails.
I used to be terrible at emailing. I would lose emails, wait months to get back to people, etc. If it’s bad, I did it. But then something happened. I had one of those selfish, aha! moments. I began emailing people for various reasons – to tell them I admire them, for charity projects, to do business – and I wasn’t getting responses back. I felt lower than the ground I walk on. I felt like they thought my time didn’t matter. And that is a horrible feeling. So now, as a courtesy to others and to make myself more sane, I respond to my emails (if possible!) within 48 hours.
4. Create personalized products.
I’m not just talking about business cards, though that is a perfect example. Anything from personalized stationery to wax seals, greeting cards and more. It can be really fun and make someone feel special if you send them something personal with a purchase.
5. Diversify your content.
Don’t limit what you do to one social media site or one way of communication. Share video, behind the scenes material, and finished products on various sites like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc…The more ways you can show who you are, the more likely someone is to connect with you.
Will you try out any of these recommendations, or perhaps you have an idea that you practice to make your business more successful? Share it below!
Paulo Carvalho - A wonderful and very useful post, no doubt. By chance lately, I’m a little sloppy on this subject. I have to be more aware. But earlier this year, I made pocket calendars with a picture of me and a quote: “in 2015 be inspired and create. Do not cage in your fears”. Now I’m thinking of something like an online magazine or printed… An idea that is still very green in my head and still needs to be worked… Take care! xoxo
You can see the pochet calendar here:
Hanna - I love these tips! I don’t have a business yet, but I did small prints of some of my images. I will use these to give to people that I love on their birthday, I will write something personal to them and give a book that I feel fits them. Maybe not business related but I want to show kindness in my future business.
Fit BMX - I hate a business that will not return email, so it is very good practice to do so.
I never thought of photographing my work (someday 😉 ) in print, that is a really wonderful idea!
Thanks for a great post! 🙂
patricia - you are awesome sometimes we forget to look at the business side of our business because we are so passionate. Thank you for the reminder ! Love your work and I have few of you creativelive
Sarah Allegra - Awesome post, Brooke! I took notes so I can refer to them later 🙂 Thanks for sharing this valuable info with us all!