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Starting my third year of business comes with so many interesting feelings. I’ve gotten much more experience under my belt and feel like I now can focus more on refining my style, serving my clients well, and giving back to help others who are in the place I was two years ago. I want to write more posts about topics I had questions about when I was just starting out, and I hope they will be a resource for budding photographers. So today, I want to share my number one business secret (and a freebie!!) with you that I practiced from the very beginning and that radically changed the way I approached my business. It’s something you can do too. Here it is:

“The secret of my success was and still is how I reflect on my service.”

It might sound cryptic or maybe even a little silly, but in all honesty, the person I learned the most from when I was starting my business was myself. And I don’t mean to say I knew all the answers…far from it! There were and still are so many seasoned photographers who poured into me to help me get to where I am today. I couldn’t have done it without their guidance and a commitment to reaching out to others for education. But, when it came down to it, a lot of what I learned about photography and serving my clients came through trial and error. It came from being aware of what I did during sessions, to market myself, and how I would edit…figuring out what worked best for me and what didn’t work so well. Sounds simple, right?! And let me tell you, it is! And it was the best thing I’ve done for my business! Here’s the scoop!

“I organize my business in three ways: a master Day Designer planner for all my activities, a monthly paper calendar for just my photography appointments, and a tabbed three-ring binder for session notes.”

My three-ring binder used to be a basic college-ruled notebook that I would just journal in after each session or take other random photography notes in. That quickly changed into a template I wrote out in that same journal to rate myself in a few areas after each session and log info about each session. Recently, I laid out my template in a PDF format to print out and store in a three-ring binder for easy access and organization. 

“Now, after each session or wedding, I write about my experiences and rate myself as I reflect on how I think the day went.”

Before my next session or wedding, I flip back through my notes to pinpoint areas I want to keep doing well and other areas I want to strive to improve myself. You guys, this has literally been a game changer for me. I can’t tell you how helpful and also encouraging it has been to go back and look to see how far I’ve come from my very first session. I hope you’ll consider implementing this in your business because I think it’ll make a world of difference for you. To get you started, I’m leaving a link for you to download my session note-taking template. I hope you’ll find it helpful! And If you use it and notice a difference, I’d love to hear about it!

Enjoy this free download of my post session note-taking & reflection template!

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July 7, 2017

My Best Business Secret | For Photographers

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Nichole Lauren is a photographer & business coach in Greenville, SC & available for travel worldwide.

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photography + Education