Being vulnerable, honest, and transparent in your business can actually make you more successful. If you don’t believe me, I’m on a mission to convince you otherwise. I promise you, the way you run your business is going to lead to how successful it is. It’s not your images. Yes, of course, your work needs to be good but when comparing two photographers with similar styles, the client is going to pick the photographer who is more authentic or to who they relate more.
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We’re gonna talk about something that is probably going to make you cringe a little, and that is being vulnerable – dun, dun, dun. But really being vulnerable, honest, and transparent in your business can actually make you more successful. And if you don’t believe me, I am on a mission to convince you otherwise.
About two years ago I decided to do an experiment. I deleted my Instagram account and started a whole new one. It had taken me about six years to get about one thousand followers. I didn’t have great engagement, I had a lot of spammy and bot followers, and I had a mentally hard time being open to the idea of deleting those bots because it would make my follower count go down. And I know you’ve probably had the same feeling at some point, but just a reminder, your follower number does not reflect your worth.
I threw that account in the trash, and I started a new one, and I have a story or a series of stories saved on my current Instagram account about why I was starting over and just kind of like my journey throughout that first year. You can find it under the highlight called social. So long story short, I wanted to make my account more me, more authentic, and more open – and my account actually grew so much faster. It was crazy.
I think in the first year I hit 1000 followers, and then six months later another 1000, and now we’re in that weird tank of engagement that everyone is kind of feeling. So I’m honestly not putting much thought into it anymore. Whatever my reach is, who cares? But something else amazing happened during that time. I started booking clients because of my stories on Instagram. One client I had told me she saw my stories, booked with me, and then went and looked at my portfolio. I thought that was really funny and so cool.
I’ve had countless clients tell me that they love following along with me and it’s funny because they never message me before their session to say so. So they just kind of like lurk around and I’m over here pouring my heart and soul out, and I have no clue if anyone’s listening. Every once in a while, I get a little breadcrumb to justify what I’m doing, and so I just persist, right? But it can feel really daunting to do these things and not get any feedback except once every few months. So I feel you, being vulnerable and wondering if anyone is listening is hard.
All right, let’s dive into another personal example. I have my newborn course launching in a couple of days. I don’t know if you’ve heard, and it’s been an emotional roller coaster. Honestly, imposter syndrome really never goes away. You guys, I’ve questioned this process so much. I’ve considered scrapping it and trashing it, but in my heart I know I’m meant to share this with the world. There is at least one person out there whose life is going to change because of this course. I believe that deep down into my core.
A few weeks ago, I shared these feelings on Instagram via stories, and I also shared a reel with a caption sort of bearing all of my heart. And it was one of the most popular reels I’ve shared about this course. Whenever I’ve made reels about this course, up until this point, it hasn’t been a big hit for views. You know, I don’t think it’s anything to do with me. I don’t think it’s anything to do with the course. It’s just Instagram. So I’m not taking that to heart, but this one reel got more views than a lot of the other ones. And I got so many supportive messages and people sharing how excited they were about the course.
I think that I got all of that feedback from them because I was honest, I was vulnerable, and I was sharing my heart with people and they were connecting with that. So I don’t really have any tactical advice to share today. More so just motivation to open up your heart when you’re selling your services. If you believe in what you’re doing, people are gonna relate to it. So think of your why. Why are you a photographer? Why is this important to you? People can smell desperation when you’re trying to sleazy sell, but when you share your why, when you speak to their emotions, you’re going to be more likely to hook them and get them to want to work with you because of who you are.
I promise you, the way you run your business and how vulnerable you show up is going to lead to how successful it is. It’s not your images. Yes, your work needs to be good. Of course it does. But when someone is comparing two photographers with similar styles, the client is going to pick the photographer who is more authentic or who they relate to more. I do have one tactical piece for you to take away today. Sit down and think about your why, write it down, and post it on your laptop. So every caption you write, every story you share, every blog you write, it all goes back to the heart of your business right there.
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