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01| ABOUT US

02| BRAND & WEB DESIGN

03| WEDDING STATIONERY

04| THE BLOG

05| THE SHOP

06| CONTACT US

Explore our offerings, view our previous clients and learn which custom design experience best suites you.

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01| ABOUT US

02| BRAND & WEB DESIGN

03| BUSINESS RESOURCES

04| THE BLOG

05| THE SHOP

06| CONTACT US

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Extending the Life Cycle of Your Photography Business – feat. Jamie Findlay37 min read

Jamie Findlay is a wedding photographer who wears several hats. Today on the podcast, she’s sharing how she evolved and grew her business into multiple businesses and how she maintains all of her passions.

The Branded by Bernel Podcast is brought to you by Bernel Westbrook, lead designer and founder of Branded by Bernel, a design studio dedicated to building strong brands and Showit websites for creative entrepreneurs.

Make sure you’ve hit that follow or subscribe button on your favorite podcast player to get notified each week as we air new episodes!

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Jamie started Evolve, an international educational community for creatives, to help photographers have more longevity

Jamie is a lifestyle, wedding, and portrait photographer who recognized her own need for community about ten years ago. She noticed that several photographers have beautiful images but don’t know how to maintain the business side of their craft.

She founded Evolve to give back to fellow creatives and stop the cycle of photographers giving up on their businesses.

“A lot of my time is spent in that realm of giving back, trying to help people avoid pitfalls, trying to help our industry have more longevity and stability, and shooting things that really make me happy.” – Jamie Findlay

Evolve is a full-circle program that photographers at any stage can utilize to learn the foundations of running and maintaining a business based on their passion. 

Jamie’s tips for starting a second business:

  1. Make sure your first business is running at a capacity that allows you to step away. Creative entrepreneurs often jump into the next opportunity before the first one is stable enough to stand on its own. If you can’t step away from your first business with ease to allow yourself time and energy to invest in a second one, then the timing isn’t right. 
  2. Start a complementary business. Jamie is a photographer primarily, and one of her other businesses is renting out her studio space to other photographers. Her business Evolve is also in the photography realm. Keeping your businesses complementary to each other helps you maintain all of them at the same time.

Lean into the photography community to help your business grow

It’s easy to feel lonely as a photographer, which is why Jamie started Evolve in the first place. Today, Evolve holds 8-10 conferences a year where photographers can gather and learn from each other. Having a strong community of peers eliminates competition and helps you grow as a business owner. 

“The community really is what will strengthen and keep photographers in business. It’s what will change our entire industry. “ -Jamie Findlay

Jamie also leads mastermind groups for photographers. This is a good place to learn and brainstorm about branding, how much to charge for your services and other hurdles that fellow photographers face.

3 Actionable Steps with Jamie

  1. Build your foundation. That does not mean building a website. You need to know who you are, what your brand is, and put systems in place to run your business efficiently. 
  2. Know your numbers. Jamie teaches her clients to use a cash flow calculator because many creative entrepreneurs don’t know how much money they actually make. 
  3. Set boundaries in your business. If your business started as a hobby, it’s easy to ride the wave of momentum and feel overwhelmed. Before diving in, set boundaries around how much time you actually want to work on your business, and stick with them.

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Review the Transcript:

Bernel
Hey, hun. Welcome to the Branded by Bernel podcast. I’m your host burnout. You may know me as the branding and web designer who obsesses over the details so you don’t have to. We all desire to be great at what we do. Although once we get there, no one seems to talk about the messy middle. This motivated me to set the table and invite industry peers over to share stories about living and working in the creative world. So grab the OJ and champagne, pull up a chair, join the creative community and be prepared to build a brand you fall in love with. This is the Branded by Bernel podcast.

Bernel
So today on the podcast, I am so so excited to be joined by Jamie Finley. For those of you listening at home Jamie is a multi passionate entrepreneur. She has owned several businesses in many industries over the past 15 years. She is currently a branding and wedding photographer as well as a private business coach to creative entrepreneurs. As CEO and founder of the Evolve workshop, she helps with an international educational company for creatives. She’s also a mom to four humans for dogs, a small farm and a recovering Oreo addict. So I am so excited to be talking to Jamie today. Welcome.

Jamie Findlay
Hello, I’m so glad that you’re having me here. I’ve been wanting to do this forever. I think you and I’ve actually been trying to coordinate this for quite a while. So I’m glad that this has come to fruition. Yes,

Bernel
indeed. I originally stumbled across your work through another photographer friend of mine had reposted some imagery from the Evolve workshops. He had taken part in a breakout. And I was like who is this incredible woman who put together this community. And then I think we had a chance to chat a little bit through Instagram just here in there. You were also part of the raise the tide initiative last summer. So I am so excited to be able to learn more of your story today.

Jamie Findlay
Yeah, well, thanks for having me here.

Bernel
Yes. So for those of you who are unfamiliar with Jamie, can you tell us Jamie, what it is that you do? I know you have lots of businesses, but what is it that you do?

Jamie Findlay
Lots of different things. Yeah, so I am a primarily wedding and portrait photographer, I do branding work and weddings all around the world. So I’ve done that for about a decade. I owned a clothing company for a long time. So the commercial and fashion and portrait side really has my heart, but I do quite a bit of weddings as well. With that having been an entrepreneur for so long, I have been a private coach off and on for about 15 years to small business owners in a variety of different genres. Me being a photographer now and owning evolve, I definitely work with creatives more than I ever have. And then about eight, nine years ago, I started evolve, which is our international educational company for creatives. And that was really born out of like a need to connect and need to create community, I noticed a lot of creatives around me were thriving with beautiful imagery and really struggling with the foundational basics of running a business. And my heart was breaking as the constant cycle was going of overturn. And so I created evolve. And so a lot of my time is spent in that realm of giving back, trying to help people avoid pitfalls, trying to help our industry have more longevity and stability, and shooting things that really make me happy.

Bernel
Yes, oh my goodness, I love that. So you really didn’t see a need in the community and came to fill that I feel the same way I see on social media all the time of there are so many talented people who have perfected their craft, but do not understand the business component of running their business. And oftentimes, it’s just not sustainable. it fizzles out because your craft can only take you so far if you’re not actually making money in it so

Jamie Findlay
well and totally and a lot of creatives get so excited and so caught up in the momentum of being a photographer. And I remember that moment too of like having owned my clothing company, and I was so exhausted from design and manufacturing. And my list never ended and all of a sudden it was like, Oh, I can pick and choose the times I shoot. And so I got caught up in that, oh, what do you charge? I don’t know, 100 bucks, and then they willingly paid 100 bucks. And it was like what? Like, they’re gonna pay me 100 bucks, and then their friends gonna pay me 100 bucks. And it’s like, we start these businesses off of momentum. And then pretty soon find yourself 18 months, two years, three years down the road. It’s like we have no idea how to actually run a business. Momentum has stalled like there’s no marketing plan. There’s no foundational elements. And then photographers give up, they go find other jobs. It goes back to being a hobby, and I really want to help people stop that and want them to be able to run a business that they can plan on retiring from if that’s what they want.

Bernel
Yes. Oh my goodness. I love that. And one of the things that really caught my eye about your website first of all, It’s amazingly designed, the aesthetic is great. But it was a specific tagline that was at the top of the Evolve workshops, website. And I will link to that website in the show notes. But that tagline said, a community focused on extending the lifecycle of a creative, and that really hit home. Because I think that often, it’s what you said, it starts as a hobby, they get paid, it turns into a business, it fizzles out and becomes a hobby again. So really making sure that that lifecycle stays alive. I think that’s incredible.

Jamie Findlay
Yeah, it’s definitely something we want to be able to meet a photographer where they’re at, at every stage, because we’re all going to cycle. So it’s like, there’s so many courses and themes out there. I’m sure you see them too. And it’s like, they might solve one small answer, like one question. But I really wanted to create something that’s full circle, where there’s literally an entry point for every stage of your business so that there’s constant continuous support from one community. And our educators and leaders and ambassadors are phenomenal at maintaining that type of connection.

Bernel
Yes, that sounds incredible. So I have to ask you, how did you get into photography, because I can see how you got into the education component. But what fueled you to start a photography business?

Jamie Findlay
Oh, man, so I still have the same drive that I had, when I picked up my first camera as a teenager. I love editorial magazines. I still right now you can see in front of me, I have a ridiculous pile of magazines for now. I mean, it is like every Sunday, I put on my calendar to go through them. But I love the visual of editorial magazines. And so as a youth, I would go through them and do tear sheets, I still do tear sheets, and I got a camera and I would try to replicate those images on friends. Just for fun, I was really into architecture, I thought I might do architecture instead of fashion design, which I ended up doing fashion design. And photography was just like a medium for expression, creativity, my whole goal is to replicate these magazines and beautiful works of art. And then as I started dabbling in it through my clothing company, that’s really where I found that passion of like, Oh, it doesn’t just have to be a model that looks beautiful. Like I can take any human being and create really magical, beautiful images for them and make them feel like they could fit in that magazine. And that’s really where it clicked of like, I could do this for anybody. I don’t just have to do this for these type of clients. And so it started, like I said, probably about 13 was my first camera. But I did not take it up full time until about 10 years ago.

Bernel
Wow. Well, that is incredible that you you took the plunge and you went full time with it, especially with having another business already. So for those of you listening at home, who are already in one who are already entrepreneurs, so you already own a business of one type and you are looking to pivot or to expand to a to a second industry. What advice do you have Jamie for starting a second business because I think a lot of times we talk about starting your first business. But any advice for starting a second one?

Jamie Findlay
For sure. My rule of thumb for any coaching clients is always to make sure your first business is running at a capacity that you can step away from it. I think too many people jump in too many like they see an opportunity. And we as creatives and entrepreneurs, especially creatives are just like, we’re so excited. It’s like squirrel. Oh my gosh, that’s so exciting. I want to do that. And so we jump into things without actually having one thing completely running. And so for all my coaching clients, I always say that exact thing, you need to make sure that you can step away from this with ease, and allow yourself time and effort to go into your second business. Otherwise, you just have two things running non non productively. So make sure what you’re doing first is great, then you can continue to add on their running the second business is easier if they go hand in hand. I will say that as well. I’ve seen some people try to do very drastic things. And usually one wins out over the other. Yeah. But if you have complementary businesses, like you know, I’m a photographer, but I also have a studio that I sublet to other photographers. And then I also have evolve. And I have all these different corporations. I have four different companies, actually five different companies. We just I just started a VA company. I haven’t even told you that for now for creatives. So I have all these things that are complementary to each other. And so it’s easier for me to wrap my head around how they can they work hand in hand.

Bernel
Yes. Oh my goodness, I love that and you started a VA company. Congratulations. That is huge. We will definitely need to get the link to that. I truly do believe that all business owners need a virtual assistant. I know this is kind of a little bit of a tangent off from what we were talking about. But I mean my assistant keeps my business together. So I really think that you can’t do everything you can not be Are you good at everything, there’s just no way, and to continue to enjoy your work to continue to enjoy making the art, you need someone to make sure that the backend is tight. So yes, you have a VA business. I’m super excited to learn more about that.

Jamie Findlay
Yeah, I’ll definitely tell you more about it. I’m a big proponent of like, understanding what’s happening in your business, but not having to be the one to do it. So I always have this like, I always think does, Jamie’s hands have to physically touch that in order for it to be done correctly. And there’s a lot of things in your business that do not require your personal time and effort to do it. And so that’s essentially with a wall that was like, how do we serve the pros? I have the consumers, we know how to serve the mid level. And, you know, entry level photographers are the people that are scaling. But where do we serve the pros, and it really comes down to, I need somebody who can do the tasks that they can offload onto. So

Bernel
yes, I love that. And it really takes humility for us as creative entrepreneurs to realize that the task can get done effectively without touching it. Because we all believe that it can only be done right if we do it. But

Jamie Findlay
only Jamie can do this good. Only Bernau can do this good. It’s like we don’t want to let go of that pride of like, oh, oh, all right. Well, that actually was probably just as good or better than I would have done. Yeah. And quicker and more efficient.

Bernel
Yeah. And you’re sitting somewhere, you know, traveling the world enjoying a good book, and your business is running efficiently. So yes, unclench the reins, if you’ve been on the cusp of hiring help or outsourcing. This is me telling you that yes, get a virtual assistant. It’s very beneficial. It is. Yes, indeed. So let’s talk a little bit more about evolve workshops. Because I love community. I love this idea that we can all learn from each other. And that once you’ve learned something and mastered it, we really owe it like as global citizens to teach others. So with evolve workshop starting what was the vision there? And then what has it become today?

Jamie Findlay
Yeah, so evolve kind of started because I came from the clothing industry. I didn’t really know other photographers and I had a studio downtown that I was subleasing to photographers. But I really wanted to create connection. And I felt like in our community, there were a lot of photographers that didn’t know each other, or had bad vibes with each other, or competitive with each other. So it honestly started with me reaching out to random photographers and saying, Hey, so and so would you want to go shoot together, and I would get together with one photographer, and we would have a good time. And then I’d say, Oh, I’m gonna go with somebody else. And I did that off and on for about a year. And then I had one day, I thought, You know what, I’m gonna invite a whole bunch of them and I being a fashion, you know, major, and having all of this background, I’m going to create something really beautiful in my studio, and they can come in and shoot, we can hang out and connect and become friends. And it was all very, like, rainbows and sunshine. And so people started coming to my studio on a bi monthly basis for these beautiful style shoots. And that’s where it clicked, the conversations that were starting to happen was they had all this beautiful, beautiful imagery, and they had no idea what to do to market with it, they still weren’t working, they still weren’t charging their prices that they needed to. So I started one on one started coaching all these people. And that’s just how evolve was, it just started as something very small that was community based and connection based. And over time, it was like, Alright, how do I teach more people at once? Okay, well, I’m gonna host a workshop. Okay, Hey, friend, do you want to host a workshop with me? If you want to be one of my speakers? Okay, cool. We did that for a few years. What if we tried to go to California we teach somewhere else, we started this, and it just evolved, you know, and it continued to grow on each other to where now there’s 1000s and 1000s of photographers around the world, who have always been able to serve. And it really makes my heart happy that we’ve been able to have that kind of impact. And I still feel like it’s a very small impact compared to what I want to do in the creative industry, because there’s still so much need, but it really just sparked from a seed of like, how do I make a friend? How do I help somebody else? find success? And then how do I do that in masses at that point? Oh, I love for one, I will I will say for now, I never want to lose that. Like a lot of people have asked me recently and this is a little tangent, I had the opportunity to speak on a really big named stage. And I turned it down because I felt like for me connection is so important. And that’s the thing with Evolve is I can turn to like mass funnels and production and and all of that, but evolve really was based on one on one connection. And I never want to lose that. So there’s we’re always kind of cranking our brain of how do we serve more people and still personally touch them? Like how do they still have an impact with us involved in them? So

Bernel
Oh, my goodness, yeah, that’s so good. It’s so heart centered. I love that you’ve stuck to the original mission, because oftentimes we start with such good intentions as a business owner. And the larger it gets, the harder it gets to control those good intentions. And so I think that’s awesome. So how many locations have the Evolve workshops taking place?

Jamie Findlay
Oh, heavens, I don’t know, I probably should total that up. On average, we were doing about eight to 10 a year, all over the world. Most of them there us we have been in Italy, Greece, Iceland, Spain, we were headed to Africa and Scotland this year when COVID hit. So we’re starting to try to expand into some different things internationally. But that’s a good question for now. I’m going to total that up just because now I’m curious, I don’t know how many different places we’ve been.

Bernel
Yes. But that’s awesome. I mean, eight to 10 a year is a lot. That is a lot of a lot.

Jamie Findlay
And people are not, I’m not, we can’t continue to do that. That’s kind of why we open the conference. I cannot keep up with that many a year Ambia. Productive mother of four and a good friend and a good business owner and support amazing people like you. But we will still continue to have a few of your that are at some really epic locations.

Bernel
Oh, that is awesome. So this year, we I noticed that you have one coming up in person. That’s exciting. The first post COVID in person workshop. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that? where’s it gonna be?

Jamie Findlay
Yes, I am so excited because it was nice to have a year off, but I miss our evolved family. And so we decided to keep it really safe. We’re only taking 100 people total. And we’re calling it the Idaho homecoming because we’re all coming home. And it’s actually going to be in my hometown that I live in now, which I grew up in California, but I have been in Idaho here for about 15 years. And so it’s beautiful Eastern Idaho, we have some phenomenal speakers that are coming in to speak to them on creating current content, how to use the current content, how to connect with their community, and how to create a sustainable business. And so that will run in August, August 3 through fifth here in eastern Idaho.

Bernel
Oh, that is awesome. Oh, that’s going to be so good. I love I love any good, homegrown story. So I think that’ll be awesome. And that’s gonna sell out fast 100 tickets. And that’s the only in person workshop this year that evolve is offering. So if you’re listening to this in real time in May, then you really want to go ahead and get on that. So

Jamie Findlay
yeah, we would love we’d love to have you I want to see old faces that I’m excited for some new ones too. And we have some a good mix of new speakers. And then some like all these goodies that have been with us forever, like Rodney Brown, who’s been with me for several years like DEVIN ROBINSON, John Taylor, sweet Morgan Olsen, like Heather Nan, there’s some really phenomenal people that are coming out to be here. So I hope that they get a chance to come with us. I hope you guys do join us.

Bernel
Yes, listen to it, tune in, get your tickets. Last week’s episode was actually an interview with Ronnie Brown. And he talked about what he’s speaking on. And so the link in the show notes takes you to evolve workshops from his episode and the link this week will take you to that as well. So

Jamie Findlay
I didn’t I didn’t know that Robbie is he is a phenomenal human like, he is somebody that I can count on as what I call an educational ambassador. But he is also a community ambassador. Like he, he lives what he speaks. And I that’s amazing that you got to speak to him.

Bernel
Yes, yes. So me and Ronnie have known each other since the very beginning of my business. I touched on this in last week’s episode as well. But he was the very first photographer I ever worked with, he took my first branding photos. So you know, these are lasting relationships. And I speak on this all the time, you want to find good people as soon as possible. When you start a business, don’t be an island, don’t think you can do it all by yourself connect with his many entrepreneurs, even if they don’t offer the same services that you do. Because you never know, at what point in your business you’ll meet each other or at what point in your business, you’ll have something that you can encourage them with. So

Jamie Findlay
100% And I think a lot of creatives, we tend to feel like threatened or competitive, and those relationships are not the ones that are gonna get you further. The community really is what will strengthen and keep photographers in business. It’s what will change our entire industry. And so those friendships are important. I did not value them until I came into photography. And I can say that honestly working in the fashion industry. It was like, oh, yeah, those are acquaintances and I had friends. But in the photography industry, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anything more important than having somebody to talk to you about the pitfalls because we are solo printers. And we need that support. We need to have conversations about well, how much money can we make? What should we charge? I had no idea people charge 20 to $50,000 for a wedding Brunel until I literally sat down next to another photographer and watched him write the contract. And it was like, mind blowing of what I didn’t even know those things were possible. And we can’t know those things are possible without talking to each other and communicating and, you know, finding inspiration and what each other does.

Bernel
Yes, yes, you need to know that it’s attainable, like we as humans need to know that something is attainable. So that is so good. So with evolve, who is a good candidate to come to the workshop? Is it beginning photographers, kind of mid range seasoned photographers,

Jamie Findlay
man, it has changed a lot over the years, I would say our demographic for six, seven years was photographers that have been in business a few years and kind of plateaued, and they needed help continuing to scale. With the introduction of the conference, we have such a variety of courses. But there’s a lot of places for good entry level as well, I would say we do still kind of hit with that mid level Pro. But we have a lot of like longtime professionals that come in because their friends are there, and they want to be there and they want to participate as well. So you’ll see a little bit of everything, which is what I really love. Because it’s not just a bunch of beginners who can’t really help each other. There’s people that can help the beginners, there’s pros that can help the mid levels. And the pros are all seasoned and excited and ready to share. So it’s like we’re all able to serve in a different way.

Bernel
Yes. Oh, my goodness, that is so good. All right, you guys will no matter what level you are in your business journey, then I think that there’s something that you could benefit from here.

Jamie Findlay
And we need to have burnout there too. We I think that’s initially how we had our conference. Yes, it was talking about working together. So one of these days, we’ll get burned out and evolve

Bernel
soon, soon. Yes. I love talking to photographers about how you can use your branding and website to really create these authentic, trustworthy relationships with your target client, because you need a website. I mean, beautiful photos on social media is one thing, but without a website, you don’t have a home, like you need a home base.

Jamie Findlay
I totally agree with that. I feel like that is something that is on repeat within my mastermind right now. And we just talked about that yesterday of brand trust, and the importance of the client’s journey, and all the things that we can control by putting out there with cohesive messaging, and they don’t think about it, they wait until they inquire. And then they’re like, oh, I have a great client experience. And that first part of the client journey really is what builds the trust. So I love that that’s what you teach.

Bernel
Yes, yes, I love the holistic approach to branding. It is not one piece, it really is that every visual component, every written component that your potential client comes in contact with should be reflective of what the journey of working with you is. So I love that so much. So as a web designer, a question that I get a lot is, what kind of photos should I put on my website? People ask me this all the time. And I mean, I have suggestions from a design aspect and from a brand strategy aspect. But I would love to hear your feedback on what are some of the key photos that someone should have on their website? Their photographer?

Jamie Findlay
Yeah, again, like this has been the conversation, you’re literally asking what the our entire mastermind has been about for two weeks. I’m like, Alright, guys, let’s let’s move past this. But the thing with photographers is we’re so emotionally attached to our imagery. And so even on our Instagram, like well post the image that we’re like, dude, that is bomb, I just killed that shot, the lighting is amazing. I love this. And clients see it in a very different way. And so when we go about our website, the biggest problem is, is we’re putting content out there that we find a value and not content that actually is there to support a copy. And the story that we’re telling and the narrative that we’re telling and the things that we actually want people to be booking us for. And so when there’s that disconnect in the confusion between like price is really epically gorgeous editorial photo, and then you deliver images that are subpar in their mind, or all of your skin coloring is the same on the website and you deliver something that’s not it creates, you know, distrust in the brand. And so, for photographers, when we do their websites, we do the reviews, we really look at like, what is it you’re trying to even accomplish? Who are you trying to attract? What’s the story you want to tell? And how can we do this cohesively? So it literally all lines up. And it’s different for every person, but definitely don’t choose the images that you just think are epic, stick them on your Instagram and make your website what your clients want.

Bernel
Yes. Oh my goodness, that right there is some valuable advice. I really hope you guys are taking notes at home because I mean, that’s a question that I get all the time and some of these people have been in the photography industry for years for decades, and they’re just like, Yeah, I just really post my favorite clients. that I’ve worked with, and I’m like, but no one would know that was your favorite. A user coming to your website has to understand the story. If they don’t understand it, there is no way they can trust it.

Jamie Findlay
100%. And I think that’s the biggest downfall that most photographers run into, it’s kind of why they become stagnant is because there’s just so much disconnect in the messaging of the brand, that by the time they get to that inquiry, again, they’re confused. They already have different questions. Now, your narrative is different than what’s on the website. And then you tend to get ghosted. And it really, it seems complicated, but it’s a very simple process, if you just follow and you listen, this, I mean, like for now, who’s going to tell you when she does your design, what should be on the website, and you work with a copywriter? Who creates the content that matches that narrative? You know, it really can be simplistic if you remove your own personal emotion from what you want to see on your website.

Bernel
Yes, yes, indeed, I’m so glad that you’re out here also telling people this and training them. So how often do you take new mastermind clients,

Jamie Findlay
so every six months, so this is we actually just open enrollment. So we’re closing up, this is our last month with this group. And we just open enrollment for the next one, which will start mid May. So there’s still some spots for that. This one is actually really exciting. Because in evolve, I just hired a new CEO. Her name is Noah Andrus. She’s phenomenal. Such a genius, such a community builder. One of the greatest people I’ve probably ever met, we’ve worked on together for over a year before we made this decision. And she’s going to partner on this mastermind. So it’s not just me running it. Now they get the duo of us running it. And she’s an expert like you are in branding, connectivity, all of those different things that she can speak into. So

Bernel
Oh, that is awesome. Well, yes, that is another piece that if you’ve been looking for a close group of people to learn together and to really grow together, check out Jamie’s mastermind. I have really pivoted my messaging went on my initial brand discovery calls with my clients that if you are not clear about who your ideal client is, if you are not clear about what you want to achieve in your business, if you are not clear about your photography style, then branding and web design is not the first step for you. Mentoring is education is masterminds are. And so I have recently just completely changed that messaging in my like initial brand discovering calls, if you don’t have that clarity, then there is no way that we can brand that clarity, or that lack of clarity.

Jamie Findlay
Totally, I’m glad that that’s what you teach, because there’s a lot of people that jump into that. And they’re like, make a checklist of starting a business one on one website. And it’s like, they don’t have that clarity. And so they end up having to go back and revisit the website, or they get really stuck on it. I’ve had coaching clients in the past that will just spin their wheels because they are so confused. And in and I got to that point two years ago, where I was like, Okay, I’m not even taking those coaching clients, if they don’t have that laid yet, because it can be a time suck. Trying, yeah, you’re out what you’re going to do. And you can spend months and months and months. So I think that’s smart for you to wait until you’re able to Yeah, yeah, for sure. What it is that what they need.

Bernel
Yes. So you know, I know a lot of coaches tell people that you’re starting a business or websites in the first three things you need. I don’t preach that. I say that clarity is in the first three things you need a community of support, and continuous education isn’t the first three things you need. And then really developing your craft really getting good at actually taking the pictures, all of that is needed before you get a website. But if you have those three things, definitely call me because we can we can build a brand on that.

Jamie Findlay
Yes, yes. I love that. That’s smart.

Bernel
Yes. So this is my all time favorite part of the show. I do this on every single episode. If you’re listening at home, grab your pen, grab your paper because Jamie is going to give you three actionable steps that you can take to move forward in building your business today.

Jamie Findlay
Three actionable steps Alright, let me think I would say number one is what I preach all the time is building the foundation. I think you have to have a foundation strong and that does not mean a website that means knowing who you are, what your brand is having everything in place. For me having a complete foundation means your systems are fully Instructure so you are registered you know your cost of doing business, you know your financials, you have a cash flow calculator, you have time blocking set up, you have your system in honey book setup and you are actually ready to run a sustainable business. I think that’s probably number one and what’s missed a lot. The second one I would probably often say is knowing your numbers which I kind of touched on a little bit there, but too often I See people don’t even know how much money they’re bringing in. And here’s an example. I started with my coaching clients. And I probably eventually will sell it because so many people asked about it, but a cash flow calculator. So I train all of my private coaching clients on how to utilize the cash flow calculator, because what’s really important is for us to know all the money that’s coming in. And as creatives we’re aware of the deposits when they pop up, and then we kind of forget about it. And then it’s like, a month or two go by it’s like, but yeah, but no, has wasn’t another 200 bucks, we’re not paying any attention to it. And, and I’ve been in this place to where it’s like, I look at the bank account and think, oh, my gosh, I need another session. When in reality, if I would have gone to a cash flow calculator been like, oh, I actually already had invoiced X amount of dollars for the month, I don’t need more money this month, I need to book next month. And so if you don’t know your numbers, you continue to compile mass amounts of work that you don’t actually need and then you’re stressed and then you’re backlogged. And knowing your numbers is super important. And then the other thing that kind of goes along with that, I would say is a big disservice. I see. Photographers is getting themselves overwhelmed. And so I always like, I’m not a big fan of balance, but like harmony, like really setting some boundaries in your business prior to just going out there and writing the momentum wave, knowing how much you actually want to work, how much time you can actually give to it. I have a client that I talked to yesterday, and when we went through it, she was backlogged 80 hours of editing, and continuing to book. And it just had never even crossed her mind that all she was doing was compiling and adding to that. And so it’s like, you have to have some type of harmony and boundary set of what you can expect to take. Match it to your financial goal, but still have a balance and agreement with yourself of what’s important to Jamie, how are you going to serve yourself? If you’re shooting 15 sessions a month and then editing 100 hours a month? You can’t serve you you can’t serve others. You get burned out your business falters. So no, let’s see laying the foundation, knowing your numbers and making sure you establish harmony before you need it.

Bernel
Oh my goodness, that was so valuable. Yes. I wish you guys could see me because my head was like a bobble head. I’m like, yes, yes, yes, yes. I love the word. Well, I loved in past tense, the word malice, but I’m loving harmony even more, because you’re right, it needs to all flow together. And you need to not just take the maximum amount of work that you can handle, but just be strategic about how can this work fit into the maximum lifestyle that I want to live. And so it’s awesome that that was great. Like, that’s

Jamie Findlay
Balance. Balance is an elusive word. I don’t think balance is a bad word. But I think people hear balance, and it feels elusive. It feels unattainable. Finding harmony is something that we can all do. You know, and figuring out, like I said, How to give the best parts of you to the people that matter. Instead of at the end of the day, the people that matter, get what’s leftover. And you know, within our industry, we tend to chase other people’s dreams. And if we really just took time to establish our own version of success and be like, Hi, I only need $2,000 A month, I don’t need $12,000 A month, it creates a lot more harmony in your life to be able to say no, and to say actually, I’m booked for the next three months, but I would love to fit you in in in July. You know, and we have a really hard time doing that. But those things are what will create a business and our culture around your business that allow you to still be here in 10 years or to retire from it. Like I said, if that’s what your goal is.

Bernel
Yes, I love it. Choose harmony over hustle. That’s what I’m hearing.

Jamie Findlay
Yes. Yes, girl.

Bernel
I like that. Yes. Well, thank you so so much, Jamie, for being on the podcast and for telling us all of these like awesome tips, and then also really sharing your story because I think that we all can learn so much. We can all identify pieces of our lives and other people’s stories. So I really appreciate you coming on today.

Jamie Findlay
Well, I appreciate you having me here. It was it was great. You’re amazing. And I’ve loved all the things I’ve not listened to Rod news, but I’ve loved all the podcasts that you’ve put out so far, so I’m happy to be a part of it.

Bernel
Yes, thank you so much. Wow, that went by really fast. As always, thank you so much for showing up in my little corner of the internet. I would love to hear your thoughts on the show. So please, please subscribe, leave a review and share what you learned with friends. Some of the best things in life are freebies. So don’t forget to head over to brandedbybernel.com to check out our free branding goodies, the show notes and more educational resources..

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