When I look back at 2016, the word that immediately comes to my mind is GROWTH.
Jeff and I spent the past three years leading up to 2016 building our two photography studios here in San Diego – Clove & Kin and Bauman Photographers – and in looking back, those years were truly about digging in and setting a foundation.
In fact, when I look back on the years before 2016, I picture Jeff and myself like two cozy chipmunks building our little nest and settling in for the long haul… while riding scooters all over town!
Jeff and I didn’t do hardly any education or coaching for other wedding photographers from 2013-2016 because we needed to invest our focus and energy on our world here in San Diego. We had local friendships to nurture, a team of photographers to build, and two additional photography brands to get off the ground.
Jeff and I went from working from home everyday to spending our work hours in an office. We went from being only responsible for ourselves and a cat to being responsible for the livelihoods of our staff.
And it was a rollercoaster!!
There were times of sheer joy mixed with moments of utter panic.
There were months marked by peace and fulfillment to periods of desperation and heartache.
But all of it was so GOOD.
Jeff and I have had countless conversations when we’ve both said that we’ve learned hard lessons these past four years that we couldn’t have learned any other way. While they weren’t fun while they were occurring, we are so deeply grateful that they happened!
Plus, those lessons brought us to 2016.
Stepping Back into Education
At the beginning of 2016, Jeff and I felt ready to get back into the education world and begin impacting the lives of other wedding photographers again. We didn’t know what that would look like, but we knew that we had two things to offer:
- Our course, Discover Your Ideal Client
- One on One Coaching
With our first priority always being our staff and our TY Couples, I spent six months – on the side – reworking our DYIC course and rebuilding the entire thing from the ground up.
I wrote my core step-by-step system of how to understand your ideal clients and create an amazing ideal client profile over two weeks in San Francisco back in 2011, but the course that I packaged it in at the time was all wrong.
I knew the content I created five years ago was incredibly powerful based on how I had seen it change the businesses and lives of so many photographers, but the basic course we had in our shop at the time was clunky and boring. It wasn’t connecting.
So with the help of some amazing friends (thank you Justin & Mary for your incredible coaching) plus the best team of beta testers ever (who blew my mind with their generosity and crazy valuable input), I was able to craft the content into a dynamic course that I AM SO CRAZY PROUD OF.
Launching Our Course: Discover Your Ideal Client
We first launched the reworked DYIC content by speaking at the Inspire Photo Retreat in February, WPPI in March, and Pursuit Conference in April, and the response was undeniable! Photographers were deeply connecting with my unique take on how to truly understand your dream clients and I was THRILLED!!
Photographers and creatives were understanding themselves and their favorite clients on a whole new level that was filled with grace, meaning, and purpose versus comparison, social media numbers, and industry trends.
However, in my typical perfectionist fashion, I still didn’t think the content was good enough for a full course launch, and I thought about just sticking what we had in our shop to be found by those photographers that *might* be interested…
But in May, Jeff and I got the chance to attend an amazing mastermind summit in Nashville, where I presented my reworked content to a group of incredibly genius online marketers, (including Bryan Harris of Videofruit!! Whaaaa! #fangirlmoment), where our new friends encouraged us to launch the content as a full course in JULY.
This seriously freaked me out because it meant a MUCH bigger launch than we had ever thought or planned for, and it would be the first time I would be selling this content directly on online webinars!!
But the feedback was so encouraging, that I knew we had to trust the process and JUST DO IT.
After all, I needed to get this course into the hearts and minds of other wedding photographers because I was hearing so many pain points that I knew could be solved with what we had in the course.
So I took the leap, recorded the lessons, beta tested the new format, and launched the full course in July!!
The launch wasn’t perfect and we learned a lot, but I am so proud of the good work Jeff and I did! We managed the stress and huge workload of the launch better than I imagined, my creative wheels were turning at full speed, and we welcomed an incredible group of DYIC students into the course!
Our first group of students has been AMAZING as we’ve spent these past months investing, coaching, and developing this crew of incredible business owners.
Seeing so many a-ha moments occur where a student finally understands – like REALLY understands – what makes them special and unique from everyone else in their market is the best part of my job!!
So this last half of the year has been a journey of coaching – not only coaching our amazing group of DYIC students, but also taking on more long-term one-on-one coaching clients, too!
Jeff is incredibly gifted at identifying issues in a photographer’s business and helping them achieve their goals, and he’s had a full calendar of coaching sessions with some incredible creative business owners this year!
What’s Next in 2017: Course Re-Launch, Podcast, & Speaking!
In looking forward to 2017, we’ll be opening up our Discover Your Ideal Client master course again in Q1.
If you’d like to be notified when we open the doors again to Discover Your Ideal Client, then get on the waiting list here!
We’re not sure exactly when it will be open (we like to take it one at a time so we can focus on our students), so don’t miss this enrollment if you want to take advantage of it!
In 2016, we also launched our free Photographer-Only Facebook Group, which already has 1,000 members in less than a year! This has been an amazing group of business owners that have encouraged and supported one another in big ways, so we’re excited to see that grow in 2017! (Join the FB Group here!)
But the BIGGEST news of 2017 is that we’re launching a podcast!!! I’m so crazy excited about this, so make sure you’re on our email list to get early access to the first episodes!!!
Jeff and I have recently had some breakthroughs on the podcast content and we’re going to be doing something that’s NEVER been done before in our industry – it’s exciting and completely terrifying at the same time! Ha! I can’t WAIT!
In other fun news, make sure to join us at these upcoming 2017 events and stay tuned to the podcast-sphere as we’ll be making LOTS of guest appearances on other podcasts! We love to support our podcast community!
Feb 8th: WPPI – Las Vegas
Join me on February 8th at 6:30pm as I walk you through our personal social media & blogging calendar to teach you how to build a simple and effective marketing system that’s irresistible to your Dreamies! Register here!
If there’s a conference, podcast, or online summit that you think we would be a good fit for in 2017, then we’d love to be connected!
Jeff and I love speaking to creative entrepreneurs about our unique approach to discovering and attracting their ideal clients as well as how to build marketing systems that work. It’s a whole new take on subjects that will literally transform businesses!
For 2017 I’m already feeling the word ADVENTURE. This next year will be full of curiosity and “why nots?” which always seem to lead to some adventurous journeys!!
What are YOU looking forward to the most in 2017? Hop into our Facebook Group and join the conversation!