I’ve always been “the perfect student.” I don’t say this to brag; it’s just my personality. I like to learn. I like the structure of school. I like jumping through the loop-holes to get those A’s. I love research, writing, reading. That’s just enjoyable to me. Earning my degree in English was like, the most pleasurable thing I’d ever done with my life up to that point (I’m sorry, that was awkward, wasn’t it? I don’t know how else to word it. I just loved those college days so much!) After I went to Katelyn’s workshop almost 2 years ago (what?!), I was opened up to a whole other world within the photography business. My eyes were opened to a different way of running my business and my life, and I craved more. But workshops are expensive – and not just because of the fees I’m paying to the photographer running the workshop, but also because I have to travel there, be away from my family, and figure out babysitters for my boys. So when I started hearing rumors of The International Academy of Wedding Photographers, an online school run by industry-leading photographers like Amy & Jordan, Justin & Mary, and Matt Kennedy, to name a few, I was instantly intrigued. After I read the content they would be teaching – posing, editing, branding, marketing, business & work flow, booking clients, and so much more, I knew it would be something that not only would greatly benefit my business, but it would also be something I would LOVE to be a part of. I could quench my thirst for learning, I could learn valuable tools and habits to improve my trade, and I could do it all from home, at my own pace.
I recently finished my first course (good thing it’s an at-your-own-pace course, or else I would have been kicked out a long time ago!). I chose to start with Katelyn’s branding course, not just because I love Katelyn (you’ve figured that out by now, haven’t you?), but also because I was SO SO ready for a new website, logo, and branding. I know I talked about my branding experience with Lindsay Kay when I launched my new site, but here’s just a little reminder….
That was my old logo. Of course I love it because that’s what really got me started. Plus, it’s something Adam and I designed together (he spent far too much time on that rose icon). But after just a few videos into Katelyn’s class, I was completely convinced that if I was going to do this thing – this thing called run a photography business – I had to actually DO IT RIGHT.
Here are the top 5 things I’ve incorporated into my business since finishing Katelyn’s class (and also some comparison photos of what her class helped me accomplish).
1. Changing my business name.
At the beginning of the year, I was M Rose Photography and within the first module of hearing Katelyn talking, I knew I needed to change it to Meghan Rose Photography. I love Katelyn’s philosophy that the only thing I have to set me apart from all the other photographers is my personality, and I knew that people would not relate to M Rose as well as they would relate to my actual name. I feel like now that I am Meghan Rose Photogrpahy, my entire platform is much more cohesive, professional, and, most importantly, me. I also love that people can find me easier, they don’t have to ask questions about my business name, and they know the face of the business is a friend.
2. Hire a professional graphic designer.
The next thing I knew I needed to do after just one module, was start working with a graphic designer! I decided to quit trying to pretend that I could do it all on my own, and give the work to someone else. As soon as I took that weight off of my own shoulders, I became a better photographer! The moment my energy was no longer spent doing something I didn’t love, was the moment I could put more time and energy into bettering myself as a photographer! It was literally a game-changer for me. Plus, Lindsey’s vision for me was so much better than what I was coming up with!
3. My approach towards blogging
At the beginning of the year, I was really struggling to know how much personal life I should be sharing on my business site. I was trying to keep the two separate and that was creating more work and more stress on my end, and not much client interaction on the business end. Going through Katelyn’s class has given me such a better idea of how to integrate my life and my business into one blog, and how to be real with clients and future clients. I have started blog series that appeal to other moms, brides, and other photographers. That way I am sharing a little bit of each aspect of my life, drawing in different audiences, all while still being true to myself and still maintaining a professional presence online.
My old blog:
My new blog:
4. Getting a handle on social media
Katelyn is a social media guru! And while it is still sometimes super overwhelming to try to keep up with it all, I definitely can say I have a better handle on it now that I have gone through Katelyn’s course. For one thing, I actually know how to use Twitter now, when I didn’t before 🙂 I also now have a social media workflow that it less stressful for me, and I try to schedule my posts throughout the day. My Facebook page is much prettier, too! I now have a system in place for all my albums and it makes everything look much more cohesive on my FB business page. I also use consistent hashtags like #mrosebrides #mrosetravels #mrosereads and #mamarosemonday on my instagram account.
5. Building a tribe through my brand
I really love the idea of building up a tribe with my brand. I loved when Katelyn taught about connecting our tribe to each other, to a leader, and to an idea. I had never thought about my business in this way before, but it definitely gives me more purpose in what I do. It gives a reason behind the social media, which is my least favorite part about running this business. It helps me to be more genuine in my online interactions with clients and other followers. I love the idea of maintaining that relationship with clients even after their contract has been fulfilled, not only as a means of furthering my marketing capacities, but also as a way to befriend, serve, and enhance their feeling of being connected to something important.
My old About Me Page:
My new About Me Page:
Honestly, one of my favorite parts about The Academy is getting real feed-back from the instructors. After every assignment I submitted, I would get a response. Sometimes they would just be encouraging remarks, but often times they give helpful advice and constructive criticism to truly help make you the best you can be! If you are a wedding photographer looking for something to spark your creativity, enhance your knowledge, and build your business, I really can’t recommend The Academy enough. You don’t have to sign up for all the classes, either. You can pick and choose classes that interest you. If you have any questions, you can email me or email them! They are friendly and super responsive! I’m currently taking Amy & Jordan’s class on The Complete Wedding Experience, and can’t wait to share what I’ve learned from them, too!