Do you know exactly what clients are hoping for when they contact you? This eye-opening post will help!

What Exactly Are Clients Hoping For When They Contact You?

When a client contacts you, they are hoping that you are the one.

That looks so simple, but read it again.

When a client contacts you, they are hoping that you are the one.

They want you to be the person that they will hire. The one that will solve their problems, that will fix their issues, that will bring to the table exactly what they are seeking.

They don’t want to walk away and to have to continue shopping. They want it to be YOU.

Do you know exactly what clients are hoping for when they contact you? This eye-opening post will help! http://christinetremoulet.com/exactly-clients-hoping-contact

I still remember vividly the moment when Me Ra Koh shared this tidbit of wisdom with me back in 2010. We were sitting in a suite at a workshop here in Houston, and she was sharing tips on booking clients.

It blew my mind. Six years later, it still does when I stop to think about it.

When a client contacts you, they want YOU to be the one that they will choose. They want the search to be over.

Whether they email you, call you, show up at your shop, message you through social media, whatever. They want their search for the perfect person to be OVER. OV-ER.

So why is it that so many of us will tell them anything but why we are the one for them?

Most of us launch in to what we do, why we are the expert. Guess what? They already know all of those things. That is why they contacted you.

You have a business. You damn well better be the expert, otherwise they wouldn’t be hiring you.

We state the obvious. The things that they already know.

Many of us don’t ask for the sale, we don’t even try to close the deal. After all, no one wants to be pushy, right? So instead, we don’t confirm for them that we are indeed the one that they were looking for with the solution of their dreams.

Are you afraid to ask clients to work with you? Are you apologizing for your prices, for your services? For charging what you are worth?

Do you know how to tell potential clients that you are the one?

Do you share it through your website, across your social media? Is your message coming through loud and clear about why you are the only option for them?

Hint: It goes beyond what you DO and what you’re an expert in. Lots of people do that. It has everything to do with who you are. Your story. Your beliefs. What YOU bring to the table. The things that make you THE ONE.

Are they hearing your message? Or are you afraid to even speak it out loud?

Is it time to do a little spring cleaning with the KonMari Method on your business to make it better for the year ahead?

Is it Time to Clean Out Your Business?

Today marks the first day of spring, and I’ll admit it – the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning? Spring Cleaning!

Which is strange, because I did a pretty big Fall Cleaning last year. For me, normally, there is something about fall that makes me want to clean. Wrapping up the summer? Getting ready for the winter? Winding down? I don’t know what it is.

Today though, I was inspired to spring clean!

Not my house, but my business!

KonMari

I talk so much about things that you can add to your business to make it better. There is a really important opposite side to this — what do you need to TAKE AWAY from your business to make it better?

It is Time to KonMari Your Business

There is much more to the KonMari method than this (the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing book surprised me by how much it changed my life and how I view the things that I choose to keep in it), but at the core of it you are asked to pick something up, ask yourself if it brings you joy, and if it doesn’t?

Thank it for serving you and let it go.

It was that concept of thanking the object that helped me clean out my closets last year. It finally flipped the switch for me of not feeling guilty about keeping things forever. It has done what it was supposed to do in my life, and now? I can release it.

Once you get started, it is hard to stop. You start to evaluate everything in your life under this lens.

Does it bring me joy? No. Thank you for serving me. I now let you go.

What if you did this to your business?

Is there a product that you offer your clients that you don’t like? Maybe one that you started offering years ago because it was the latest cool thing, but you’ve never loved it?

Take it off of your pricelist. Thank it for serving you – even if you never sold a single one, it taught you that it wasn’t the right product for you. Let it go.

Is there a service you offer your clients that makes you miserable every time someone buys it? It is not bringing you joy.

You have permission to stop selling it. Thank it for serving you – and let it go.

Is there a habit that you have that you don’t like? A life change that you want to make? Think about how the current reality isn’t serving you.

Thank it for serving you, let it go, and then decide what you want the new reality to look like.

What Are You Holding On To That Isn’t Serving You?

I heard Bob Goff speak a few years ago, and he talked about how he quits something every Thursday. He picks something in his life, and he quits it. Big, small. Always quitting. Always trimming things out.

Every Thursday.

It made me realize that like that pair of jeans in the back of your closet that you’re holding on to because they fit you in high school and might fit again, someday, 10 years later, we all hold on to things in our business.

They don’t fit, they aren’t working, and they are just taking up space. We just can’t let them go for some reason.

Here is your permission. Now you can. If it is not bringing you joy? Thank it, and let it go.

You created your business to make you happy and profitable. You get to define your own success. You are the architect of your dream. There is no room here for things that do not bring you joy.

Well, maybe bookkeeping. That doesn’t bring me joy, but it is essential to your business. Fortunately, that is what outsourcing is for. I let that stuff go too.

What can you quit today? How will it make your business better in the long run?

You didn’t start your business to be miserable. There is absolutely no reason to keep doing anything in it that makes you feel that way.

My Heart Journey to a Rewired Life

My Heart Journey to a Rewired Life

Today is a bit different than my normal blog post. As an entrepreneur, it is essential to listen to your body and take care of yourself. This is my journey through 2015, and saving my heart. It is my biggest wish that it helps you learn to listen to yourself. I am dedicating today’s post to the Rewired Life Blog Tour, where we are all exploring and digging deeper in the concepts of Loving yourself, Healing your body and mind, and Celebrating life. To participate and check out the other bloggers, visit Rewired Life Blog Tour.

My Heart Journey to a Rewired Life

Outside of my bedroom window, there is a side yard for our house. I don’t pay it much attention. I never go out there; I do nothing to tend to the azaleas and other flowers that grow out there.

They simply exist. Without me. In spite of me.

The man that mows our lawn trims them for us once or twice a year. That pruning the only attention that they receive.

It has been awhile since he has trimmed them. I need to remember to call him and ask him to come by to look at them.

Is This How I Show Myself Love?

As I looked out my window this morning, I started to think about those flowers. Blooming out there, in the sunshine. Just doing their thing. Surviving. Living.

I realized that I treat my body most days the same way I treat that patch of land.

Like it doesn’t matter. Like it can survive and bloom without me. In spite of me.

There is one problem with this plan — I need my body. Even if I feel like no one will notice if I neglect it, that is not the case.

Just like the plants outside, if I neglect it? I will hurt it. It needs to be nurtured. Loved. Tended to, and taken care of.

I Need to Take the Time to Love Myself.

2015 was a hard year, and I have not talked about it much here. It is time though – over and over again, I am realizing that I need to share my story. The story of neglecting the garden of myself.

It all started on my birthday in 2014, actually. I was walking at a conference with my husband, walking quickly down the hall, and I made him stop suddenly. I felt as though I could not breathe, like my breath was only filling the very top of my lungs. I had to stop and catch it. I was winded, and struggling to walk.

I blamed it on asthma, which I was just diagnosed with a few years ago, and once I recovered, we continued on.

I traveled from Texas to Maine a week later. Visiting Acadia National Park, climbing up the hills made me winded again. Houston is flat though, I’m not used to having to climb.

Justifications. Every time, justifications.

I started 2015 off with pneumonia. My blood pressure was elevated, but the doctors were not too concerned. After all, when you can’t breathe and you’re running a fever of 103, some other symptoms are to be expected. Antibiotics, lots of rest, and I recovered. I was tired, but again – easy to justify. Pneumonia.

In February, my friend Audrey Michel visited Houston. She invited me to do a Soul Awakening session with her. It was an amazing, eye-opening experience to listen to my body, guided by her. I did another session with her a few weeks later.

We kept coming back to my heart. Talking about the issues weighing heavily on my heart. My heart was where we kept returning.

In hindsight? My heart was crying out for me to pay attention.

The Heart Journey

In March, I called my cardiologist to make an appointment. My blood pressure was still high. The earliest they could get me in was the end of July. So I waited.

In July, I finally saw her. Tests were ordered. Take it easy. Slow. We will figure this out. Scans, X-Rays, checking my lungs, blood work. I was told to return in November.

It was the equivalent of looking out the window today at the yard. I saw it, but was I actually taking care of it? No, not really.

I didn’t travel as much in 2015, and there were no long road trips. In September, I took off for Canada, and over the next 6 weeks I attended 4 different conferences. I flew from Houston to Calgary, from Edmonton to Kelowna, back to Calgary, to San Francisco, to Houston, to Toronto, and home again. Seven flights in six weeks.

The impact on my body was most evident whenever there was any type of incline. Stairs were out. It did not need to be a steep incline though – just walking off of the plane, the ramp up to the gate, pulling my carry-on suitcase on the carpet was impossible. I decided to stop being a martyr and I requested wheelchair assistance at the airports.

It was the only way I could make it through the airports, yet I felt so much dread each time. I felt shame. Here I was, looking perfectly normal and healthy, being pushed through the airport. Often by an attendee who did not look as young and healthy as me.

I felt lazy. I felt guilty. The lady at the gate in Kelowna thought I was asking for a wheelchair because my bag was too heavy. I was embarrassed.

The Heart is the Center of Love

This is what heart disease looks like for women. A journey of guilt, and of shame. One that we try to hide. We don’t want to be seen as weak, or as whining.

I believe this is even worse among people that are running their own business. If we take time off, who will get things done? What will happen to our clients?!? (This is the wrong way to think, by the way.)

I returned to my cardiologist after my trip. My blood work was good, my lungs seemed to be ok. In the banter back and forth with her, I mentioned that I had decided not to be a martyr and ask for the wheelchairs.

It stopped her in her tracks. She made me explain to her why I needed the wheelchairs.

That Tuesday afternoon, she told me that she wanted me in the heart cath lab by Friday. That same week. Her associate rearranged his schedule to get me in that Friday.

We expected that I would be in there for 45 minutes, tops. He was going to check both the left & right ventricle of my heart, since I had had shortness of breath issues. The right ventricle supplies the blood to your lungs.

I was in there for two & a half hours. I had a complete 100% blockage of one artery. An 80% blockage of a second artery. On the right side, I still have a 55-60% blockage of a third artery.

They placed multiple stents in my heart to save my life.

This is what heart disease looks like for women. It isn’t the way that Hollywood portrays it. It shows up in completely different ways – back pain. Shortness of breath. Pain in the jaw or neck. What you think is heartburn. Elevated blood pressure. Swelling in your feet & ankles.

This is what heart disease looks like for women. We dismiss it. We ignore it. We don’t think it can happen to us. Not at age 45. We don’t have time to stop. To be inconvenienced. No time to be sick, or to complain. We have too much to do.

This is what heart disease looks like for women. Shame. Guilt. Pain. Silence.

This is what I want heart disease to look like for women: LOVE. Self-Care. Listening to our bodies. Treatment, both traditional medicine and holistic practices. Life-saving.

Listening to my Heart and my Body

Eventually, your heart can’t just live in spite of you. It isn’t like the azaleas.

I listen to my heart all the time now. I check on it almost daily with blood pressure readings, but I also listen to how my body feels. What it is trying to tell me.

Lessons that I’ve learned over the past year from Audrey have helped more than she knows. I am able to tune in to myself with ease now.

While my journey has been so different than hers, reading her book – which I’ve had the honor of knowing about since she first started to write it – moved me beyond words. You can rewire your life. You can listen to your body. You can do what you need to do to save yourself.

She has helped me to heal a part of me – the part of my spirit – that was shattered during the medical ordeal that I went through in November. Her book has helped me to come to peace in a way with the fact that I have a chronic illness that will always be a part of me – yet it does not have to define me.

If you have had to deal with an illness, or if you know someone who has – you must read this book. It will change you. I can not recommend it enough, and it is such an honor to be a part of the Rewired Life Book Tour.

Love yourself. You know what you need more than anyone else. Honor what your body is telling you.

I will not only survive this medical drama, I have been thriving. I feel so much better now. Even days after my procedure, I could walk at a normal speed.

Last week, I took my first flight to Washington, D.C. I was scared – how would I deal with the airports? I felt that dread return, but it was unfounded. I was perfectly ok, and had no issues at all. No more wheelchairs.

I will always have to watch my heart. There will be stress tests and other tests in my future to keep an eye on it. I have come to terms with that.

I can’t neglect my heart and my body any more.

Maybe it is time I pay more attention to those flowers too. Each time I look out the window, I think about that. I want them to represent how I feel going forward, with my Rewired Life.

Do you have Heart Disease too? Let’s talk. This is a conversation we NEED to be having as women.


Facts on Women and Heart Disease

If you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you breast cancer or another cancer was the #1 killer of women. It isn’t. It is heart disease. Matter of fact, heart disease kills more women annually than all the cancers combined. Here are just some of the facts from the CDC on women & heart disease.

  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, killing 292,188 women in 2009—that’s 1 in every 4 female deaths.
  • Although heart disease is sometimes thought of as a “man’s disease,” around the same number of women and men die each year of heart disease in the United States. Despite increases in awareness over the past decade, only 54% of women recognize that heart disease is their number 1 killer.
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death for African American and white women in the United States. Among Hispanic women, heart disease and cancer cause roughly the same number of deaths each year. For American Indian or Alaska Native and Asian or Pacific Islander women, heart disease is second only to cancer.
  • About 5.8% of all white women, 7.6% of black women, and 5.6% of Mexican American women have coronary heart disease.
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of women who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.

Learn the symptoms. Stop the shame. Take care of yourself.


To read the previous post from the Rewired Life Book Tour, visit Jenna Hillier to read about Body Love Habits to Start Today. The next post in the book tour is Amy Zellmer’s Faces of TBI on Healing after Trauma. Want to download a sample of Rewired Life? Visit Audrey Michel’s website here.

The Photographer's Planner from Colorvale - My Review

The Photographer’s Planner from Colorvale – a Review

The Photographer's Planner by Colorvale Review - this is the planner that completely changed her business! http://ChristineTremoulet.com/the-photographers-planner-from-colorvale-a-review

I will be the first to admit it – I am a total paper junkie. I love planners. Back in December, I found myself in a store holding no less than 4 planners at once, wanting to buy them all. This is completely unrealistic, because you should only use ONE planner at a time.

The reality is, just a general life planner? It isn’t going to change your business. If you’re a professional photographer? THIS is the planner for you.

Meet the Photographer’s Planner

The Photographer's Planner from Colorvale - my review - http://ChristineTremoulet.com

Why is this the planner for you, you ask?

Because the Photographer’s Planner goes beyond just being a standard planner. This doesn’t just have places for you to note what you need to do from day to day. This is a business guide book! It has all that you need to run your business, the heart & soul of everything that you need to be an effective CEO of your business and your life!

Isn’t it gorgeous? Inside and out, this baby was designed to SHINE. You can start it whenever you want – there are no dates in it, so you can fill those in yourself. Designed to be tossed in your camera bag or laying out on your desk, you will never want to be far from it.

I have the predecessor, the “sister” product, the original Briefcase planner. Honestly, it is always right beside me. It is an extension of my arm practically. I’ve been anxiously waiting for this baby to arrive because it has a new & improved size – the cover is 8.5″x11″ and the inside pages are now 7.75″x10.5″. Colorvale can say what they want, I’m pretty sure that that gold spiral binding, the black & white striped cover, and the gold corner accents were made just for me!

Colorvale never skimps on the paper quality on the inside either. Thick and luxurious, so you can’t see your pen on the other side. No wimpy pages here!

From room for you to organize your photo sessions, schedule time for editing & placing orders, to developing unstoppable marketing strategies, seamlessly managing client workflow, and surpassing revenue goals, this baby has got you got you covered.

This video shows the planner off so well!

The Details in the Photographer’s Planner that Changed the Life of my Business

My favorite pages in mine are my Social Media marketing schedule each month – so I can plan out what I post and make connecting & networking a breeze, and the Social Media Growth Tracking chart – it has been so great to look back at how all of my social media accounts have grown in the past 6 months, all thanks to having everything in one place in an organized system!

The Photographer's Planner - Social Media Tracking Review - http://ChristineTremoulet.com

Nearly 300 pages to help you organize your business! All printed, prepped and ready for you to go. You don’t have to print your own planner and put it together yourself. Everything you could ever want, right at your fingertips!

I’ve used many planners over the years. I can honestly say that NO OTHER planner has changed my business in such a way like this one has. Each month I kick it off with setting goals, and throughout the month I watch to make sure I’m achieving them. By the end of the month, I have proof of my success! (Part of why I love those social media sections so much! Measurable growth!)

What is Included in the Photographer’s Planner

Photographer's Planner by Colorvale - my Review - http://ChristineTremoulet.com

You can visit Photographer’s Planner site and see what all is included, but here are a few of my favorite highlights of the magic found in these pages – some of them are things I can’t wait for, because they weren’t in the Briefcase planner:

  • Year at a Glance Special Dates: Easy to use the 12 (monthly) boxes to track things of the utmost importance. Birthday, anniversaries, workshops, and anything else you can’t miss. Plenty of space to write your major goals as well.
  • 12 Month Session Rolodex:: an at-a-glance sessions list for the entire year! (This will be new for me!)
  • Personal Info Page: Track your business links, favorite sites & resources, and forums & magazines all while jotting down personal growth ideas, possible income streams, and blog post ideas–all setting you up for monumental successes.
  • Monthly Measurables Page: Because what is measured GROWS, this part is my favorite section! Measure your monthly goals & objectives. You can now track things like your number of clients (and how many of those were referrals), average session turnaround times, and increases in social media followers. Keep an eye on monthly marketing behavior, and ensure monthly office tasks (like bookkeeping, email, ordering, etc.) stay in line, and you’re set for the smoothest running business!
  • Task Organizer: This was a big life changer for me. I’ve heard all the benefits of assigning certain tasks to certain days, but until I started doing it? I had no idea how powerful it really was! You decide which days get slotted with a particular task. (Editing, family time, meal planning, all the things you have to do – and the things you WANT to do too!)
  • 12 Monthly Calendars: The 12 blank calendar months make tracking progress completely manageable.
  • Client Workflow Pages: Another one that is completely new for me! I can’t wait! I used to have a big version of this on my wall, but how lovely to have one that I can keep handy with my planner? This flexible element lets you keep track of where your clients are in the processes, from contracts and photographing to culling, editing, and order placements. (Don’t want to track photography sessions? You can also use the pages to track bill due dates or home chores.)
  • Social Media Schedule Pages: By scheduling out your posts ahead of time, you’ll be on top of your Facebook posts. (Not to mention Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.) This is the page I mentioned above that has helped my social media following – and my client list – grow so much!
  • Customized To-Do’s Page: This delivers the freedom you crave with the ability to scrawl out your own headers and decide exactly how to make the magic happen. Lists make my heart sing!
  • Weekly Planning Pages: The heart & soul of your planner: daily obligations, ideas, marketing, daily sessions, culling/editing, orders, sales… the list goes on and on… while your photography biz grows.
  • Session Income Pages: Another section that is new for me! Cash money reporting lets you track client payments, retainers, and product orders without screwing the pooch or backing up the books.
  • Blogging shouldn’t be blah. This is the perfect place for you to jot down the long list of blog post ideas that are chomping at the bit to be brought into the world, (and then make note of which ones are drafted, published, and shared).
  • Brainstorming Zone: No planner would be complete without some good ol’ brainstorming. Whatever your wild & creative heart desires, there’s a delegated place for it.

Order Your Photographer’s Planner Today!

Photographer's Planner from Colorvale - a review by Christine Tremoulet

See what I mean? If you’re a photographer? The Photographer’s Planner is THE planner made just for you! Not a photographer? That is ok! Most of the photographer specific language has been removed from the planner, so you can use it as well — or if you prefer, you can pick up The Briefcase from Paper & Prosper, designed for entrepreneurs & bloggers.

The Photographer’s Planner is in route right now to Colorvale, and the minute they arrive? They will head out to mailboxes everywhere. Make sure YOU get yours before they run out! No planner has ever changed my business like this one, and I’m confident that if you use it every month, it will change yours as well!

Please note: The links in this blog post are affiliate links; I will receive a small commission for your use of them. I was not paid for this review, I purchased all products on my own, and my testimonial is entirely my own opinion. I’m not just a fan of this planner, I’m also a client!