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Spinning, and Finding My Way Upright Again

Spinning - Galveston 2013, Painted in WaterlogueAfter the past several years of coaching others and being coached, I’m a pretty self-aware person. So when the spinning starts happening, I know. I can feel it. Every cell in my body seems to become involved in it.

I dive in to starting things head first without any questions, and at the same time I don’t like change. I’m happy charging ahead and discovering new things; I hate leaving old things behind.

Pretty consistently for me, letting go of something is a 4-6 month process, until one day I suddenly am ready to let go. I’m still learning why I do this; probably because I feel like I am the sum of everything I’ve ever done before. Cliche? Maybe. But cliches exist for a reason.

I know it happens though, and I work my way through it.

Looking back to several years ago, I chose to stop photographing weddings because I wanted to focus on photographing moms. Empowering them. Changing their lives. As much as I loved weddings, I knew I could not keep doing both at the same time because my focus was too divided to market or work on either business effectively. I anguished over it for months.

Then one day I woke up and my first thought was, “I don’t want to market weddings anymore.”

Like a figure skater who had been spinning in a sit-spin on the ice for a long time, I finally just stopped. I broke out of the spin.

That was back in 2011, yet ever since? Part of me has missed photographing weddings. I don’t like to let go, and so I second shoot weddings with other photographers up to this year. I have taken on weddings for friends.

I didn’t talk about them here though, because I have this need to sort things. That leaves me feeling like I’m putting pieces of myself in to boxes that I can only take off the shelf from time to time. I miss parts of me when I do that though. I have a hard time letting go of things that I love, even when I’m clearing the way for what is next.

You know what happens when you put things in boxes? They aren’t gone. They are just in a box, out of the way – but they are still there. You are still carrying them around.

I thought this box here, my blog, could only be about one thing. How crazy is that?! It is my name. It is me. I am not one dimensional by any means. So my name shouldn’t be about just one piece of me – it should be all about me. ALL of me.

Intention

My word for 2014 was “Intention”. Heading in to the last month of the year, I feel like it has been full of intention in a number of great ways. It has also been full of quite a lot of spinning.

The spinning has left me feeling dizzy.

It is time for it to stop.

Fear

I’m afraid that if things change for me again, it will just leave everyone confused. If I change what I share here, if it isn’t clear what my purpose or my mission is, you won’t be happy about it.

The thing is? It is time to stop spinning. It is time to be ME.

The reality is, nothing is changing. Even when it looks that way from the outside. I’m actually becoming more clear on what I want to do. What I want the world to know. The impact I want to have on the world? That has been the same for years now. As far back as high school if I’m honest with myself.

Yet I’m still afraid of what you will think.

There is one thing I know for sure – I love to help people. I am a connector. If I know something or someone and you need to? I want to share it with you. That is my natural instinct. I realized 4 years ago when I first met my business coach, Jeff Jochum, that that is what I go and do, time & time again. Any time I start a business, I find my peers, my community, my tribe, whatever you want to call it, and I share the knowledge that I have as I soak up even more. I am naturally a coach, a mentor, a teacher, a confidant, whatever you want to call it. I’ll bend over backwards to help people.

The spin finally feels like it is slowing. The dizziness is subsiding.

I’ve felt divided for months, trying to reconcile that I truly want to teach photographers about business. I want to work with creative women. I want to write books. I want to coach people. I want to help people love themselves and their bodies. I am the Avenger of Sexiness. I want more than anything to help you rediscover that You Are Enough.

But how does it all fit together? How does it make sense?

My friend Tara reminded me a week ago that there is, in fact, one common bond to all of those things… ME.

To be honest, she didn’t just say that. We had a 5 or 6 hour conversation. About me. About her. We both gave and received a lot of wisdom that night. It was amazing.

The spinning started to slow, and I could see a new path ahead of me. One that ties it all together, somehow.

All of the things I mentioned are me – a coach, a mentor, a photographer, an advocate. A writer, a dreamer, a creative. I don’t have to choose to be just one of them. Instead, I’m going to try for awhile just specializing in being ME.

I’m going to read my own handwriting tattooed on my wrist. You Are Enough.

So things might get messy here for awhile. That is what happens when you spin for too long. One day I might talk about running a photography business. I might post photographs that I’ve taken and tell a story about them. One day I might talk about body image and loving yourself. One day it might be something else.

I can only promise you one thing. It will all be genuinely ME.

As I always do, I’m just going to start. I will figure it out along the way. I always do, and it always works out. Mike says I’m like the cat with 900 lives. Drop me off the roof, I always land on my feet. He’s right, it is true.

I’m vivacious, adventurous and intimate – and it is time to bring all of those to the table here. It is time to stop spinning.

I have a feeling it is going to be a wild ride. I can’t wait.

My only wish is that in it all, you find something that helps you too. Reach out, share, ask questions. If you’re spinning and you want it to stop? I hope that you give me a chance to help you with that, just like others have helped me.

You’re not alone. All of your pieces are needed to make the whole complete. You deserve nice things.

You Are Enough.

Inukshuk, Moraine Lake, 2014

Inukshuk, Moraine Lake, 2014

The Annual BIG Black Friday List For Photographers – 2014!

Annual Big Black Friday Sales List for Professional Photographers

Welcome to my annual photographer’s BIG Black Friday Sales Post for 2014! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! Outside of the trade shows at Imaging USA and WPPI, the BEST sales for photographers are during the Black Friday Sales this weekend!

Every year, I work together with vendors that I know and love to gather up all the details on the Black Friday Sales all in one place, right here! Full of great deals for photographers, videographers, and anyone in a creative business field!

How it all works: Be sure to pay attention to the dates that sales are available. I’ll be updating this post as I add more sales, and it will go on from today (Sunday, November 23, 2014) for the next week & a half (Tuesday, December 2nd). That means Cyber Monday sales will be included in this post too! One place. ALL THE SALES!!! I’ll update the time below with the latest time of the post update, so you know to look to see if anything has been added.

Get on the List! I will be sending out one email a day with a roundup of all of the sales added that day and their details. If you prefer to receive your updates by email, be sure to get on the list!

Amazon Gift CardENTER TO WIN A $300 AMAZON GIFT CARD! – check the BOTTOM of this post for details on how to enter to win a $300 Gift Card from Amazon! This is my way of saying “Thanks!” for using the links below, which helps support this blog all that I do.

Updated Regularly Through Tuesday, December 2nd.
Last Updated: 3:55pm CST, Saturday November 29, 2014

New from ME!

Social Media Infusion - the Ultimate Guide

Social Media Infusion – $67 with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY, then launch price of $79 (Regularly $99)! Earlier this year, my friend Stephanie & I set out to help creatives with their Social Media. We initially created the Social Media Infusion course, and have since taken it on to create this 96 page book to help you out with your Social Media plan! Including how to create an Editorial Calendar, and how to use your blog as the center of your social media universe, plus all sorts of details on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram. Code BLACKFRIDAY through 12/1/14 for a total of 33% off regular price. To Purchase: CLICK HERE.

From Other Businesses & Creatives I Recommend

TheLawTog - so many Black Friday specials!

TheLawTog Store – Photography Contracts, Blog Contracts & More – 40% off all products! (She never has sales on her stuff!) Protect your photography business with lawyer drafted contracts. Broken down by type to help you find what you need easily. All can be customized to fit your brand, go into digital contract programs and be amended for your own policies (if you want!) Discount also available on other shop items! Sale runs Wednesday, 11/26/14 thru Monday, 12/1/14. Use code: BlackFriday40. To Purchase: CLICK HERE.

Preveal, Salesographer, Swift Galleries Black Friday Sale

Preveal-Salesographer-SwiftGalleries

Preveal – No code needed. The best iPad app for selling wall art to your clients! On sale until the end of day Cyber Monday.
Salesographer – No code needed. In Person Sales will make a HUGE difference in your bottom line! Get this, and learn how to make them rock! On sale until the end of day Cyber Monday.
Swift Galleries – Pre-purchase for $50/yr! Ever wish you could have Preveal on your android device? Your laptop? Or your iPad? Well, here it is! Doors open on Black Friday, 11/28/14 – Only 500 Spots available!

The Dynamic Range - by Susan Stripling

The Dynamic Range by Susan Stripling – 30% off the entire store! Susan has just launched this amazing new blog full of details on how she makes the magical photographs she creates. The ThinkBooks, Business & Marketing Workbook, Case Studies are not just beautiful, they are full of information as well! On sale through Tuesday, December 2nd. To Purchase: CLICK HERE.

The Modern Tog & Marketog Black Friday Sale

Marketog – $499 (half off!) is now available during Black Friday as a SELF-STUDY course. You will have access to the course, the Study Hall Group, and the previous Q&A information. (The next time this course will run is early 2015 and it will be full price.) SALE: Wednesday Nov. 26th at 12:01am through Cyber Monday, Dec. 1st. To Purchase: CLICK HERE.

The “Everything Digital” Bundle from The Modern Tog – All of The Modern Tog’s products listed below EXCEPT Marketog: $399 (Would normally cost $662 for everything!)
• Photographer’s Pricing Guide Workbook (retails for $149)
• Go-To Guide for Client E-Mails (retails for $147)
• Easy Client & Money Manager (retails for $129)
• Easy Client Manager (retails for $59)
• Profitable Portfolio Builder (retails for $129.99)
• Client Questionnaire Library (retails for $49)
SALE: Wednesday Nov. 26th at 12:01am through Cyber Monday, Dec. 1st. To Purchase: CLICK HERE.

Stomp Software Black Friday Sale
Stomp Software – 40% off Everything! They knew there must be a better, simpler, cheaper and more enjoyable way to prepare images for web use, design photo albums, and proof them online, but they couldn’t find anything that fit the criteria. So they created that better way. It rocks. StompSoftware’s range of apps will help you get out from behind your computer faster and enjoy the things you really want to do in life. Try them out for yourself today! 40% off everything code: STOMPINGINTOTHEHOLIDAYS. Expires Cyber Monday, December 1 at midnight CST

ShootProof Black Friday Sale
ShootProof – 50% off your first year of any ShootProof plan – client galleries with digital downloads, print fulfillment, and commission-free sales! Valid for new accounts. No coupon code required.

Simply Boudoir Templates Black Friday Sale
Simply Boudoir – 25% Off All Products! Looking for a Welcome, Prep, or Price guide to send your clients? Boudoir and Glamour PDF templates are completely customizable from the font size & color, the wording, to where images appear. Simply add your own images and edit the font (except for the guide which includes it all!) and send to your clients. Perfect to upload to Issuu.com or send as is via email. Editable in any program that can edit PDF’s (Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, and more). On Sale until 11:59pm EST on December 1st. Use code “cyber25” at checkout.

PhotoFlashDrives Black Friday SpecialPhotoFlashDrives – 25% off your entire order! Plus Free Shipping for USA, Canada and Europe for orders on Black Friday (Nov. 28th)! Sale starts November 27, 2014 at 6pm EST and goes until December 5, 2014 at 11:59pm EST. Free Shipping on Nov. 28th only. To Purchase: CLICK HERE.

Inspire Photo RetreatsInspire Photo Retreat – Register by Cyber Monday to lock in your choice for the intensive workshops and classes on the first day of Inspire. Pick your class when you sign up – as long as you register by midnight on Cyber Monday, you’ll be guaranteed your first choice class!

Sticky Albums Black Friday Sticky Albums – $70 OFF! Sticky Albums are a super cool way to help get your photographs on to your client’s phones so that they can show them off to all their friends. This is their best price this year, so sign up fast! On sale through December 1, 2014. To Purchase: CLICK HERE.

Gively - Black Friday SaleGively – 25% OFF! Earn more money and provide your clients with a way to get the products that they want! Offer unique, branded, and easy-to-use Gift Registries with Gively! Offer ends Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 at 11:59pm EST. To Purchase: CLICK HERE.

Joy Vertz - Pricing Perfection Black Friday Sale!Joy Vertz – 3 Weeks to Pricing Perfection 50% off through 12/2 with code blackfriday50! Pricing always seems to be an area of struggle for many photographers. The 3 Weeks to Pricing Perfection study-at-home course is designed to answer all those questions – and more – and help you understand of why you should price things at a certain amount so you can actually turn a profit. Turn your uncertainty about your pricing structure around to confidence and profit! Sign up today and give Joy 3 weeks to turn your business around!

Boudie Shorts Model Call and More! Black Friday SaleBoudie Shorts Model Call – $50 Off! Normally $129, it is $79 for Black Friday until 12/3/14. No code needed. To Purchase: CLICK HERE.
Boudoir Business Camp – 40% off! Normally $498, it is $298 until 12/3/14. No code needed. To Purchase: CLICK HERE.
“Get More Photo Clients” Video Series – FREE! This is designed for all photographers, not just boudoir!
Boudoir Marketing Holiday Template – FREE! A holiday gift for you!

Photography Spark Black Friday SaleRecipes to Rank Higher – $39 (regularly $99 – SAVE $60) The Photography SEO Cookbook has over 100 pages of knowledge and advice, helping you achieve business success through search engines. Learn 31 ingredients Google considers important, 6 tools to power your optimization efforts, and 23 recipes to rank higher. To Purchase: CLICK HERE.

Business Planning Cookbook – $39 (regularly $99 – SAVE $60) The Business Planning Cookbook is a guide for envisioning and planning for a successful, sustainable photography business. With over 75 pages including 10 worksheets and samples from different photography businesses, this guide is a must-have for a photographer serious about running a successful photography business.

Psychology for Photographers Black Friday SalePsychology for Photographers – No code, discount already in your cart! This is a rare sale that you don’t want to miss!
Irresistible Website: Regularly $159, sale price $109 – save $50
Irresistible Words- Regularly $249, sale price $199 – save $50
Business Library Pack (bundle): Retail for both would be $408, sale price $299 – save $109
On Sale from Black Friday (11/28) to Cyber Monday (12/1). To Purchase: CLICK HERE.

Simple SLR - Mastery of Portrait LightingSimpleSLR Photography Guides – 40% off all guides! Sale Dates: 11/10/14 – 12/2/14. Code: BlackFriday40. To Purchase, CLICK HERE

Craftsy ClassesJennifer Rozenbaum on Craftsy – $19.99! Jennifer Rozenbaum’s Craftsy class is only $19.99 for Black Friday – along with many other courses! You can watch her class and have 24/7 access to ask her questions! An awesome deal!

Amazon Black Friday Sales

Amazon Black Friday DealsDeals on Canon, Nikon, Fuji, and Sony gear, changing daily! Be sure to also check out the Memory Cards, or maybe you’d like a Kelly Moore Bag or some Think Tank Bags & Accessories?

Black Friday Contests!

Enter to win a $300 Amazon Gift Card from me! (If you are on a mobile device and this isn’t displaying for you, view the desktop version of this website.) All you have to do is sign up for my email list, and you can receive more entries when you share the details with your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

StickyAlbums iMac Giveaway!StickyAlbums is running a 27″ iMac Giveaway! Click HERE to enter to win!

Black Friday - Win an iMac!Jamie of The Modern Tog is giving away an iMac! Visit her site for all the details: CLICK HERE.

Photo Credit: Pumpkin photo from Teo via Creative Commons.

The Business Lesson to be Learned from Lafanda Quee

Yesterday, a friend mentioned to me that they never check their “Other” folder on Facebook messenger, because all that is in there is random marriage proposals from foreign men. Laughing, I went to my “Other” folder on Facebook, with the plans to do some screen caps of what I found and … well, to be honest? To mock them on Facebook. Because seriously? Do those proposals ever work? Why do they send them?!?

Unfortunately the senders of all my marriage proposals have had their accounts suspended, so I couldn’t see their messages of love and devotion. What I could see though was a message from a man who wrote me back in May. Just a short note – “I think this person is using your photo for their profile.”

This was how I discovered Lafanda Quee.

Business Lessons from Lafanda Quee

As you can see, Lafanda & I have one thing in common – we look exactly the same.

Otherwise, we’re really not that similar. I’m not from Colorado. I don’t live in Las Vegas. I didn’t attend Brigham Young University and then go on to work at Hooters and now at a Strip Club. I wouldn’t describe my relationship as “It’s Complicated.”

I am still laughing about it, and my husband Mike & I keep making jokes about my new Lafanda Quee name. I posted about it on Facebook, and since then 95 people have liked the post and there are so far 78 comments.

I declared that I’m like Beyonce. She is Sasha Fierce? I am Lafanda Quee!

The Business Lesson

Our image is a part of our personal brand. How you look is how I know who you are. Avatars on social media have only reinforced this for all of us. When you meet someone, do you ever think to yourself, “Wow, you look NOTHING like you do on Facebook?” How about when you go to a conference and you don’t recognize someone because their avatar is normally a photo of their kids or their dog? I’m such a visual person, I recognize people’s faces before I recall their names.

Lafanda Quee? She stole my face.

While that is a representation of me online, just because she stole my face doesn’t mean she can be me.

Lafanda Quee can not compete with me. I’m more than just that photograph. Is it a part of me? Absolutely. It doesn’t bring everything to the table that I bring though!

When you’re a solopreneur, a small business owner, with a brand that is built around YOU? No one can take that from you. << Tweet this! >>

If your business is built around who you are? You never have competition. No one has your appearance, your style, your swagger, your personality, your stories, your experience, your knowledge. No one, no matter how hard they try, can be BRAND YOU. If you market that? What makes you BRAND YOU? You’re untouchable.

Don’t Let Lafanda Take Over Your Market

If your business is built around your logo, pricing, a style of editing your photographs, a way of posing your clients, how quickly you turnaround products, or the albums that you use? Anyone can copy those things. Anyone. You could have your own Lafanda Quee on your hands, trying to look just like you.

All of these things are important to your clients, but they are slippery. They can never truly be exclusively yours.

Lafanda may look like me, but obviously my Ideal Client Avatar would never connect with her. No matter what she takes, she is not me.

Which do you market? Are you building a #BrandYOU business? One where people love you for who you are and that is a part of why they want to work with you – whether they realize it or not? Or is Lafanda going to come along some day, copy everything you’ve done, and steal your clients away?

How to Run a Black Friday Sale Without Hurting Your Business!

How to Run a Black Friday Sale that Won't Hurt Your BusinessWhen it comes to Black Friday sales for your photography business, you want to be mindful of what you are offering. Be careful to not create a sale that ends up costing you money, or one that turns your clients in to thinking that they can get a deal all the time.

After all, we all know those stores that have everything on sale all the time. When you walk in and you see things full price, you scoff and laugh, and tell yourself to return in a week or two, that item that you want will be on sale again. Do you want clients to think of you as that business? NO. So you need to be mindful of sales. You need to run one that won’t hurt your business!

All of my wedding clients have received a USB drives of their wedding photographs, with a print release for personal use. After the wedding day, I also put their images online in an online gallery for their guests to view and order prints as well. Email registration and the gallery password is required for access for everyone viewing the gallery.

My Black Friday Sale Idea

One Thanksgiving night, while waiting for the stores to open at 4am, I had a crazy idea of something to do to kill the time while I waited to go shopping myself! I opened up all of my client galleries for the year that had already expired. Knowing my profit margin on print orders, I emailed everyone who had registered for the galleries that year and sent all of them a 30% off code for prints, good only for Friday & Saturday.

All day Friday & Saturday, I watched the print orders roll in! It was unreal!

These were print orders I would have otherwise never received!

I then did a 25% off Cyber Monday say as a follow-up in case they missed it over the weekend.

I sold thousands of dollars of prints that weekend – which was admittedly a little crazy to have to deal with fulfilling all those orders with going in to Christmas – but a lovely blessing of extra cash!

I Haven’t Planned Out my Black Friday Sale?!

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are just around the corner. I get it. So you might be stressed that you haven’t planned out your sale. Did you notice that I thought of AND kicked off my sale at about 11pm on Thanksgiving night? I decided I was going to do that sale about 10 minutes before I started emailing people. I just had to set up the coupon code first!

It is not too late!

Awesome, but I Don’t Do Online Sales of Prints

I get it. With the majority of my photography clients for the past three years being boudoir clients, and my concern for their privacy online, I’ve gone in to security lockdown mode and only offer In Person Sales for those clients. I would have to think of other ideas for them.

If you have past portrait or wedding photography clients who did an in person sales session, you could set up an online gallery for them and offer them a chance to come back and order extra prints. Maybe they want gifts for the family that they had not thought of at the time of their original ordering session? Maybe they would still like some holiday cards, or 4×6 prints to include in their cards?

I’m planning this year to go back to all of my boudoir clients from this year and offer any that didn’t purchase the digital file add-on the chance to do so. I’ll take a percentage off the price. They didn’t buy them the first time round, but since I have the USB drives and the files already – it is money I would not have made otherwise!

Give your past clients the opportunity to buy from you. Use Black Friday as an excuse to contact them about it. <<Tweet This!>>

Other Black Friday Sales Ideas

Looking for some other inspiring ideas for Black Friday Sales for your photography clients? My friend Jamie at The Modern Tog has a blog post full of ideas on how to run a successful Black Friday Sale, so be sure to check it out and see if it might spark other ideas for you! Think about what will be the best fit for your business, and what you can pull off in the time that you have, and make some extra cash for the end of the year!

Why You Need an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog – 30 Days to Awesomize Your Blog

Great post on why you need an editorial calendar for your blog - 30 Days to Awesomize Your BlogI’ve been talking about creating an editorial calendar for your blog, and I’ve realized that for some people that may just make your eyes gloss over because you aren’t sure what I’m talking about. We should back up a step and clear that up!

In the magazine world, they have editorial calendars. You can look them up online for almost any magazine and find out well in advance what they will be discussing in upcoming issues. For example, here is the editorial calendar for Vogue. You can also check out the National Geographic Traveler editorial calendar.

Why do they post these online? Because that way, if you’re an advertiser in their magazine, you know what is coming up and you can plan out your campaigns.

Why You Need an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

You don’t need to share yours online, but you do need to have a plan for your blog. Creating an editorial calendar will make things go so much smoother for you when it comes to blogging! Think about it, no more stumbling along and wondering what to write. You can look at your calendar and just go from there!

Your blog is for your future clients. The perspective clients who will hire you. What stories do you want to share with them? What are the stories you want them to pass on to other people about you? How will you connect with them? We will talk more in the future about post ideas, but for now? That is a start.

Having an editorial calendar takes the pressure off of you when it comes time to write a blog post, which is why you need one! <<Click here to Tweet this!>>

Having an Editorial Calendar means you have a plan. You know what you want to say (at least from a high level), and you know WHY you want to say it. You know how it fits with your marketing plan. Your blog isn’t just a gaping void of frustration for you, one where simply opening up the post box is terrifying. Instead, you can use it to take you where you want to go. The editorial calendar? That is at the heart of it!

Start thinking about what you want to post about on your blog. We’ll talk soon about some tips on setting up your editorial calendar, and how I keep track of mine. You’ll want to think of monthly themes and also your own marketing plan. Make a list and you’ll be ready to roll!

PS – Some people call it a content calendar. To me, they are the same thing – and I prefer to use the term editorial calendar. Either one works — the most important thing is to have one!

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© 2007 - 2015 Christine Tremoulet - Avenger of Sexiness. My Superpower: Helping women grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty.

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