Have you heard of the practice of choosing a word of the year? I talk more about exactly what a “word of the year” is and go into my word for 2022 which is Ease. I share how I see ease and how I’m using the word as a guidepost for decisions in 2022. I talk about ease in personal and business decisions + how to bring ease to your clients. This episode is your permission slip to “Let it Be Easy” as coined by Susie Moore in her book of the same title.
We often overlook what could be easy in our photography business for what we think we should be doing.
I also share about the upcoming audio summit for photographers that I’m putting the final touches on now. Registration officially opens Thursday with more details, but you can get on the early bird list here.
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Kate Hejde is the host and creator of How You Pictured It Podcast and Dear Kate Brand Strategy. She helps photographers create a profitable business that fits into their lives. With over 10 years of experience running her own photography business, while raising three kids, Kate believes that business is not one size fits all and that you define your own success. Kate teaches through her podcast as well as through course, group coaching, and 1:1 mentoring.
Today, I want to talk to you about my word of the year for 2022. If you haven’t heard of picking a word of the year before, basically it is the idea that you’re choosing this one word that kind of helps you make decisions. It guides you and it helps you kind of set an intention on your year to, to grow and to change.
I had heard of this through other podcasts and specifically through Ali Edwards and Elise Joy. Ali Edwards has a whole program dedicated to words of the year called “One Little Word”. And just from her website, this is what it says. It says “In 2006, I began a tradition of choosing one word for myself each January.
A word to focus on, to live with, to investigate, to write about, to craft with, and to reflect upon as I go about my daily life.
These words have become a part of my life in one way or another.”
So in the past, I’ve chosen words like nourish and found ways to kind of root that into everything that I did that year. Thinking about how I was nourishing my body and my mind.
And then another year I chose abundance, which I used a lot. Honestly, that one I felt really resonated with me and changed things in my life. It made it so that when I was making a decision, I was thinking back to why I was doing it. Was I doing it from a place of scarcity or was I doing it from a place of abundance? And it helped guide me to be more giving, which I think is never a bad thing.
It helped guide me into giving things in a way that always seemed to come back to me.
I actually used abundance for a couple of years, because it really did resonate with me and helped guide some of those decisions for me throughout those years with the pandemic and all of those things. That word abundance really did resonate with me. And I loved having that kind of guidepost. So.
That brings me to 2022. My word this year is ease.
If you listened to past episodes, you probably heard my book recommendation for “Let It Be Easy” by Susie Moore.
That’s really where the idea of the word ease came from for me. That book is one that I highly recommend listening to if you’re someone who struggles with maybe making things too hard or struggles with stress and anxiety. I think a lot of the times we can kind of get into our heads about things and get wrapped up in details that don’t necessarily matter. And that’s where ease plays a part.
As photographers we’re there in the edits, critiquing every detail of a photo. And I think we can do that to other parts of our life too.
But really the client is not seeing that every tiny little hair is perfectly in place and every blade of grass is just right. They’re not seeing that the white balance is at exactly 5,500 Kelvin versus 52 0 5 or whatever, from one image to the next. We’re the ones that are seeing that and I think we make it hard on ourselves when it doesn’t need to be. And so that’s something that really needed to come into my life this year is that idea of ease.
Really ease for me is a way to give myself permission to let things be easy; to take the easier route to, to not stress so much.
I also think it’s important to apply the concept of ease to our clients.
We want things to be easy for them, especially. So when we’re looking at our websites and we’re looking at our booking processes and communication processes, how can we make it easier for our clients to get to us? And how can we make it easier for them to say yes to booking our services?
I recently had an experience where I was booking something for myself and every little piece of communication came separately.
The invoice came separately from the contract, came separately from the questionnaire. Everything came in separate little pieces in separate emails and that added communication made it feel more stressful for me as the client, versus if everything had come in one big email.
So that’s something that I’m really trying to make sure for my own clients, that everything is just in a state of flow for them. That one piece of communication can get through as much as needs to be said and they’re not having to check back in with me constantly. I want to be the one that is making sure that they have everything they need.
I want to make sure that their questions are answered before they even ask them.
For me, it’s important to make sure that those things happen and that I can automate them so that it’s not more stress for me, that I keep it easy on myself and easy on my clients.
Beyond the actual booking process and communication process, I want to make sure that my clients have ease in finding me and in knowing when I’m available to be booked.
One big goal for this year is to make sure that all of those processes are as streamlined as possible. And that there’s no friction for the client in booking a session. I don’t want there to be any pause and communication where they have time to rethink what they’re wanting to do and say, no.
I want to make it as easy as possible for them to say yes.
I’m also looking at ease when it comes to my own schedule. I want to make sure that I have plenty of time for play and for my family and those things that are super important to me outside of work.
Sometimes for me, that means booking multiple clients in the same day so I only have one day of work like I talked about with mini sessions on the last episode. Sometimes that just means taking on fewer sessions in general.
With that ,that means i have to make sure that my prices are high enough to support the lifestyle that i want and the client load that i want.
Another place that ease comes into play with our photography business is niching down. When we have one specialty or a couple of specialties that we’re speaking to, it makes it so much easier to have one solid message and makes it easier to share our business and market it.
When you open your Instagram and you know exactly what your message is it’s so much easier to make a post.
When you niche down, you also become an expert in one thing, and it’s so much easier to know how to do one thing and do it well versus trying to reinvent the wheel every time you pull out your camera.
Recently I was faced with the choice of if I wanted to do motherhood mini sessions this year or not. And my word ease really helped guide me in deciding what to do.
Honestly, motherhood sessions are not something that books that well, for me. I’m not great at marketing them, but I do love shooting them.
Mostly, I just tend to be busier this time of year and don’t do a great job at promoting that I’m even offering motherhood sessions.
Last year, I had a big elaborate set that I absolutely loved, and I love creating those things. But it was really kind of a waste of my time and efforts because I only booked three of those mini sessions and I spent a lot of money and a lot of time putting that set together. So this year, I leaned back on my word of the year, ease and decided yes, I would put an offer out into the world for motherhood sessions, but my set is super, super simple and easy. There’s no props to buy. I have everything that I need.
And this made it a lot easier for me to make that decision, to offer those motherhood sessions. And it made it so that if I don’t book a ton of them, I’m not disappointed. ? ?
? Honestly, this idea of ease really weaves in through every bit of my business.
It goes back to my core philosophies on what business should look like for me.
When I started my business, it was not to be the most famous, the wealthiest, the best photographer in all of the land. I started my business because I loved photography. I loved taking pictures for other people.
And I loved the freedom of making my own choices in my business and setting our own schedule.
As the years went on with my photography business things definitely got more complicated and I made things harder than they needed to be.
In recent years, this idea of paring things down and finding ease at all, things has really started to surface. And I feel like this is the year that I’m really going to focus on bringing ease to not only my own business, but to other photographers as well.
So this episode is really just your permission slip to find the easy way. To find what works for you and to find what brings you joy.
I’d love to hear from you and hear about what ways that you can bring ease and joy into your business and into your life.
You can DM me on Instagram or Tik TOK @dearkatebrandstrategy.
I’ve been working on something behind the scenes that I’m really excited to share with you in the coming days.
Starting Thursday, registration opens for the free audio summit that I’ve been putting together with some great speakers that will help you find more ease in your photography business and in your life.
I can’t wait for you to hear from experts on things like bookkeeping, getting legal, creating systems and CRMs that help you automate things,
marketing, and websites, and more.
Make sure you’re following me @dearkatebrandstrategy on Instagram or click the link in the show notes to get registered. I’ll talk to you next week have a great day. Bye!