THE PRO THINKS DIFFERENTLY. HE SHOWS UP, HE DOES HIS WORK, he keeps on truckin', no matter what." -Steven Pressfield
I got some new photos taken recently (whoo-to-the-hoo).
Photoshoots aren’t high on my happy-making list. Back when I was acting, headshots carried a lot of weight, and I put a ton of pressure on myself to get them right.
I’d stress myself leading up to the photoshoot and generally wouldn’t sleep much the week before. Day of, I’d be tense. And afterwards, I’d pick my photos and myself apart.
I’m grateful to report this shoot was different. I was pretty chill (neutral) leading up to it, had a blast day of, and that energy translates into the pictures themselves.
Y’all, I know I’ve talked about this a lot recently, but the energy we bring is so much of everything. Even (especially) in our photos.
While that’s fascinating for me to notice, that’s not what this post is about!
Instead, here are three unexpected takeaways from this photoshoot that relate to all of us as business owners.
1. We’re damn lucky for them interwebs.
Since moving to NYC, I’ve changed careers and don’t have the same network I did in LA. So, I didn’t really know where to start when it came to finding a brand photographer.
I dug around on Instagram and found my talented photographer there.
I KNOW it’s easy to hate on social media.
I know because clients tell me all the time how hard it is to keep up and wonder if it will actually do anything for them. There are 101 reasons not to show up, put in the effort, and rule social media as only something that works for ‘influencers’.
Whatever you choose to do with social media, finding my photographer on the IG is a beautiful example of how we can use social media as a tool to connect us to more like-minded people and grow our businesses.
In less than thirty minutes (I’m not kidding here), I found and connected with a few local photographers. That’s a huge win in the time-efficiency department.
Social media allowed me to hire a photographer I loved working with that I would never have known about otherwise.
That’s a win on the client and consumer side.
On the business owner side, here are some important notes: I wasn’t following this photographer. She doesn’t have a trillion followers. She WAS putting herself out there and doing great work. It was easy to scroll her feed and see this wasn’t just a random hobby, the girl is consistent.
She also made it SUPER easy for me to hire her. Now, she has a fan and repeat customer.
We complain about social media and forget how lucky we are as consumers AND business owners to have a tool unlike anything we’ve ever had in the past to connect us and open us up to new opportunities.
Yes, it’s easy to get caught up in comparison. Yes, it can feel like our “competition” is everywhere and in our face. Yes, it takes work to show up. Yes to all of it.
For those of you showing up and sharing valuable work consistently on social media who might be feeling frustrated or wondering if it actually works, I hope this example will remind you it can and does.
2. Being a Pro and Delivering Service Matters.
The photographer I booked was 100% professional and on it. From start to finish. She was communicative, early to our shoot, came prepared (she even brought me a changing tent), scouted locations, didn’t rely on me, had a quick turn around, and made it easy for me to pay her.
She problem-solved and took care of me on the shoot, which meant I was at ease. She listened to what I wanted and needed. She was positive. She also did great work.
These are the pieces we so often forget in the social media, marketing, sales part of business: if you’re great at what you do, show up as a professional, and serve (and sometimes go above and beyond), you’re going to win. Always.
We can’t always control the timeline, but those ingredients always add up to success.
Remember, I wasn’t even following this photographer, but I was looking for her. People online are looking for you, too.
3. Photos aren't 'the' answer to business success.
I want to be careful about how I spell this out because it’s easy to see someone get new photos (or a new website, branding, etc.) and think that’s what you’re missing if you want to take your business to the next level.
It’s also just as easy to misunderstand this heading and think the message is that pictures (or websites, branding, etc.) don’t matter.
It’s not either or. It’s about knowing there isn’t a ‘secret’ to business success or one ‘thing’ that’s going to open the client and customer floodgates.
It’s about getting clear on what your business needs now and investing intentionally.
But, business success doesn’t come FROM investments just like it doesn’t come FROM the pictures, social media, the shiny website, the new laptop, the new app on your phone, the new graphics on your IG feed…even investing in a coach (which I’m biased towards) isn’t the answer.
Business success comes from you and how you use and work each of your investments.
I’m excited to have new photos and know they’ll uplevel my branding. I also rocked the same photoshoot for three years and built a profitable, sustainable with those.
Focusing on connection, money-generating activities, and serving your clients so, so well will always come first. Everything else is nice to have and icing on the cake.
I hope this will give you a fresh perspective on social media, the power of showing up like a pro, and owning where you’re at so you can make the right investments for your business to get those next-level results.
Wishing you your version of success!
P.S. Want to borrow my belief in you? Ready to kick your behind-the-scenes up a notch to get (and stay) out of your own way so you can rock your strategy (messaging, marketing, copy, and sales) and celebrate making more money doing what you love? Let's talk. I'd love to help you do just that.