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Goals? We’ve Got SMART Ones! Day 3 – 30 Days to Awesomize Your Blog Series

Goals? We have SMART Ones! Setting Goals for your Blog & Business. #30DAB #BusinessOfAwesomeIt is so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day of running your business and your blog. But what are you working towards? What is the plan? Having goals for your blog isn’t exactly working on your blog, but it is working FOR your blog.

SMART goals for your blog & your business make it easy to decide what to do next! (Tweet this!)

Setting goals that are SMART has been a big thing for me this year. My word of the year is intentional. I’m normally an “I’ve got an idea, I am going to test it out, and if it works – YAY!” sort of person. 10 year plans? Oh goodness, no. 5 year plans? Who knows what I’ll be doing in 5 years! But 1 year plans? Or even better, 6 month plans? I can totally get behind those! Having set them this year has helped me be much more focused. Turns out I needed some SMART goals.

(To those of you that can do 5 and 10 year plans, I bow in respect. Seriously. I wish I could do that!)

Are you setting goals that are SMART?

Specific – target a specific area for improvement. You can’t be vague here! You need to know exactly what you’re working towards. Use the 5 W’s to help you determine this – Who, What, Where, When & Why.
Measurable – quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress. You need a way to measure or to keep score. Numbers matter here.
Attainable – I am all for big dreams, but when it comes to setting goals? Break it down in to bite-size pieces that you can reach.
Realistic – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
Time-related – give yourself a deadline to review and readjust.

So lets say you decide that you will get more business. Awesome … but is that a SMART goal? No – it is way too vague! How will you do it? What does “more business” look like? When will you achieve it by? What is the definition of “more business”? When will you know if you’ve hit it?

What if I said that over the next 6 months I will double the number of visitors to my blog – now I have a specific area to focus on, something to measure, it is attainable (with some work), it is realistic (unless you have 1 million visitors a day already), and we have set a time frame for it.

Before you start, you will want to look at what has worked for you in the past. If you tried something already and it had amazing results, how can you continue that? You need to know where you are starting from in order to decide where you are going. Don’t be afraid to take chances though – if you have an idea that you think might just work? Go for it!

Goals to Consider for Your Blog

  • How many readers will your blog gain in the next 6 months? How much will your traffic increase?
  • How much income will you bring in over the next six months / year?
  • What series of blog posts could you start to bring readers back to your blog?
  • How many blog posts will you write a week?
  • How much will you interact on Social Media?
  • How much will you grow your Social Media following on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest?
  • How many new clients will you bring in per week/month/year (depending on how your business works)
  • Is your site due for a design overhaul? When will you have it done by?
  • Is it time to update your static pages on your website? (About, Pricing, Work with Me, Media Kit, etc.)
  • Does your business need systems in place to make things run more smoothly? What do you need to do to set those up?
  • You’ll go through the 30 Days to Awesomize Your Blog series by a certain date?

Once you decide on your SMART goals, you can start to set up tasks to do to get you there, and before you know it you’ll be zooming right along to achieving them!

I use The Big Picture Planner from Design Aglow to track my blog goals & tasks, and I love it! You can read my full review of it here. It is fully customizable, so you can start it at any time of the year!

Share in the comments what goals you’ll be going for so we can cheer you on! Before you go, be sure to sign up for the email list so that you will get the rest of this series via email!


30 Days to Awesomize Your Blog is a series of posts to help you make sure your blog is as amazing as possible. It is FREE! And bonus? Get on the email list (the link is in the sidebar) and I’ll send them to your email inbox as well! Follow along on social media too with the hashtag #30DAB and leave a comment so we can check your site out!

Is Your Site Mobile Friendly? Day 2 – 30 Days to Awesomize Your Blog Series

Is Your Site Mobile Friendly? 30 Days to Awesomize Your Blog! #30DAB #BusinessOfAwesomeHere is an interesting fact for you — according to Pew Research, in May 2013, “34% of cell internet users go online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer.” (Pew Research Internet Project: Mobile Technology Fact Sheet)

34% of people online were primarily using a mobile device to get online in early 2013. Just imagine what that number is up to today!

Looking through my Google Analytics stats for 4 different websites, my numbers support this – about 40% of my site visitors are on mobile devices.

Yet I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say that they don’t care what their website looks like on a phone, it is meant to be experienced on a computer. Guess what? You don’t get to decide how people view your site. You need it to be mobile friendly if you want to stay in the game.

Today’s task is to grab your phone and look at your site. Closely. If you were visiting it for the first time, could you find what you want to know? Could you zoom in on the page to read the text? Could you find contact information to hire you? How is the menu to navigate? Can you go from section to section?

Bonus points if you can get your hands on another type of mobile device to check it there. Not that we’re counting points here, but you know what I mean! If you use an iPhone, get access to an Android. Check it on a phone and a tablet or two. Look at it as many ways as possible.

Make sure the experience is a good one for your end users. After all, you blog (and your website if you have one) is your storefront for most of your clients. You want to make sure that if you get them to the front door, they can actually walk inside and look around!


30 Days to Awesomize Your Blog is a series of posts to help you make sure your blog is as amazing as possible. It is free to read, and bonus? Get on the email list (the link is in the sidebar) and I’ll send them to your email inbox as well! Follow along on social media too with the hashtag #30DAB and leave a comment so we can check your site out!

Why Are Your Readers Here? Day 1- 30 Days to Awesomize Your Blog Series

Be sure to check out and enter to win prizes in the Birthday Bash Giveaway! The special sales & contest ends on October 6, 2014.


Why Are Your Readers Here? 30 Days to Awesomize Your BlogOver and over in my head, I’ve been thinking about this series. As creatives, sometimes we struggle with getting our blogs all nice and blinged out for our readers, in a way that represents our brand as well. You’re probably swell at what you do – but blogging about it just may not be your thing. That’s cool. That is where I come in.

I’ve had a blog for over 14 years now. I know! 14 years! Isn’t that CRAZY? So I know a thing or two about what blog readers are looking for when they visit your site. Some of them you may already be doing, but maybe not all – so be sure to subscribe to the email list so that you can get all of these delivered to your inbox in nice bite-sized pieces and you can AWESOMIZE your blog right along with me! Want to follow along on Social Media? The hashtag is #31DAB and I’ll be sharing them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram!

Ok, enough of this rambling … lets dive right in!

Why Are Your Readers Here on Your Blog?

I know you have superpowers. Something that makes you special, something truly unique about you. But when a new visitor arrives at your website, how long does it take them to figure it out? Do they have to hunt high and low, or is it super obvious? Do they have any idea who you ARE?

(As I’ve talked about before, sharing those things is the secret of a successful photography business.)

Pull up your blog right now and look – how long would it take me to find out about you? Today, we want to make sure that at least one, if not all, of these items are available:

  • Your Tagline – Can you tell me in just one sentence what you’re about? An Elevator Pitch? Something that passes the head-bob test, where I nod my head up and down? “Yes, yes! I get it! I want to know MORE!” If not, add your tagline to your blog. Somewhere really visible too!
  • Your Name – If your business isn’t your name, put your name somewhere easy to locate. I want to connect with you, but to do that? I need to know your name!
  • A Bio Blurb – Add your photo and a little bit about you to your sidebar on your blog. (Right there with your name.) Let me get to know you and see you. We’re meeting for the first time, I want to put a name with your face. Again, this reassures me that I’m in the right place when I’m reading your website. If I’m in the wrong place? It might just be enough to make me want to stick around for awhile.

Your blog may not have a sidebar, and that is ok. If it doesn’t, make sure the about page link is super easy to find. We’ll get on to updating that page soon, don’t worry!

Have Day 1 complete? Post your link in the comments below so we can all come and check it out! Before you go, be sure to sign up for the email list so that you will get the rest of this series via email!

Just so you don’t feel alone, I’ll be following along and doing these things on my photography blog and my Travel blog as well! Knowing that I needed to clean up my own act was the inspiration for this series, in fact!

The Big Secret to My Successful Photography Business

Christine Tremoulet's big secret to her successful photography business - be sure to read it!So let me tell you a little story which leads to me discovering the big secret to my successful photography business. I live in Houston, Texas, which is the 4th largest city in the United States. Back in 2008, When my photography business was still focused on weddings (with some boudoir), I asked another wedding photographer if he wanted to share my studio space.

He looked at me like I had grown a second head or something. “But … but …” he stammered, “we are competition?!?”

I just looked at him, a little shocked. Once I finally found the words, I asked him, “Have you looked at my clients and looked at your clients? They are not the same people at all! If someone comes in, sees your photograph on the wall, and says that they have to book you over me because of that photograph? They were never my client to begin with!”

  • His clients: early 20s, fresh out of college, planning elaborate weddings paid for mostly by their parents.
  • My clients: late 20s to late 30s, have had a career before getting married, sometimes it is a second marriage, they paying for most of or the whole wedding themselves.

We had complimentary styles, design aesthetics, and brands, which was why I offered to share my space with him, but we were two VERY different people. His clients are just like him. My clients are just like me.

There are only 52 weeks in a year. Most wedding photographer only want to book 20-30 weddings* a year. There are only 12 months in a year. Most portrait photographers only want to book 10-20 portrait sessions a month*, or 120-240 a year. (Math is hard, yo! I had to bust out a calculator for that. #sadtruth)

You don’t need everyone in your market to love you! You only need to connect with the right number of people for your goals.

When I launched my photography business, I was successful (profitable + booked) from the start. I booked up my first year, and I made over 6 figures.

Want to know the big secret to my photography business success?

I had a long-time established personal blog before I booked a single photography client. I had a presence on Social Media that involved only sharing about myself, not selling a single thing. People knew me – or at least the me that I shared online – and connected personally with me.

I can’t tell you how many times people have walked in to my studio and told me that I sound in person exactly like they imagined I would from reading my blog. (Oh, and they read my blog – all the time! Not just my business blog, but my personal one.)

Use your blog. Use social media. Tell people who you ARE, not just about your latest work. Tell them about the things that make your friends love you. You represent your personal brand at all times. Brand: YOU. Find your VOICE.

Do all your blog posts sound the same? “This is my favorite client ever … I love them so much … this day was just the best…” over and over again? How boring do you think this must be for people looking for a photographer? (Hint: Snoozefest!)

Do you share your story?

Your potential clients are clicking along, visiting one photographer’s blog after another. (After all, the blog is the part of your website that gets the most traffic.) “I just loved this session!” is on repeat and their eyes are glazing over because that is all they are reading on every blog. *yawn* Then they come to your site. You have also written about your latest session, but you’ve talked about why YOU loved this session. Truly why you loved it, sharing a personal story of your very own. “The way mom looked at her son with love in her eyes, you could tell that she knew these moments were fleeting — and as the mother of two yourself you completely understand. It seems like only yesterday they were babies, and now they are off to kindergarten and third grade, and those moments are over in my house.” Pass the tissues! *sniff, sniff*.

Know what that potential client is thinking? “Oh, look! THIS photographer? I can relate to her. I mean, I know exactly how that feels, and I just have to know more about her. SHE GETS ME”

WINNING!!!

This works for EVERYONE. Talking about YOU in your voice? Your authentic story? It is a disruptor. Most people in your market are not doing it, but even if they all start tomorrow? Your story is still unique. You need to share it with the world!

For example, I talk a lot online about my geeky addiction to gadgets. Which reminds me, I need to share reviews of my Livescribe 3 and my new iPad Stylus, to go along with the review I wrote about my Misfit Shine. Telling you these things about myself? You get it, I’m a geek. Which is probably why I’ve worked with so many engineers over the years, they love the geek stuff too! Which makes for a much stronger connection with my ideal client. We bond over these things.

Do you know who YOUR ideal client is? Can you tell me all about them, what they love, what car they drive, where they eat, who they are — and how you can connect to them over those things? What stories do you have to share about your life that people can relate to and embrace?

Find your voice. Talk about yourself. I promise you, it is OK.

Friends buy from friends. All things being equal, people buy from people that they like.

Are you taking the time to be friends with your clients? Are you being vulnerable with them so that they can relate to you and trust you enough to be vulnerable with you in return?

How many clients do you really need?

Look, I get it. When your calendar is looking pretty empty and you’re stressed out over it, it is terrifying. You feel like you desperately want everyone to like you.

Stop and think about it though. Do you really only need 10 clients a month? 120 people a year? Unless you are in a town of only 200 people, 120 people is a pretty small number. I’m in a city of millions – every person out there doesn’t have to love me. They don’t even all have to know about me. If the right people know about me? They will tell their friends. They will come. I can honestly say that they have every year for me.

You can compete on price, or the style and way that you photograph, but you will always have to be reinventing yourself. People will always be copying you. You will always have competition, and competing on price is just a race to the bottom.

Or you can Brand: YOU — and always stand out from the crowd. Your former competition now becomes your peers. No one, no matter how hard they try, can ever be you. They don’t have your stories to share with the world. They don’t see life the way that you see it. They can’t. You are unique. You Are Enough.

I’m going to be writing a lot more about this. (Hopefully not all long, rambling posts!) It is topic I am SUPER passionate about. I believe that through the power of blogging and social media you can share your stories with the world and work with clients that you love, all while building a photography business that is wildly successful.

You can have an awesome life & an amazing business — and I look forward to helping you get there!

PS – if you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for the email list in the sidebar. I’ve got a whole big series – ok, several series – planned out on giving your blog lots of love, growing your social media presence, and bringing it all together to rock out your business. I want to make sure the posts get to you!


* Ok, for some of you those numbers (30 weddings a year or 240 sessions a year) may seem really low. Maybe you want to have a huge volume studio with 20 photographers, 8000 sessions a year, or whatever crazy numbers you’ve got in mind. I start to feel an anxiety attack coming on just thinking about running a business like that. Soooooooo not my thing – but kudos to you! Branding You probably won’t make that much sense. That is cool. I’d still love it if you stick around in case you want to learn more about blogging, social media, and all that good stuff.

Using Custom Products & Packaging to WOW Your Clients!

Custom Gift Box and USB drive for photographer's giftsWant to go a step above & beyond for your clients? Consider creating personalized custom products just for them!

My friend and Atlanta wedding photographer Julie Anne shared these photos today on Facebook of this keepsake photobox full of beautiful prints & a custom USB, and after I finished swooning over them I asked her if she would let me share them with all of you, and she graciously said yes!

As a true Southern girl at heart, Julie Anne is all about going above and beyond for everyone, as I got to experience first-hand when I visited her in Atlanta earlier this year. She is the master at finding the perfect gifts for people, so it is no surprise at all to me that she created such a perfect gift for her clients, Veronica & Joe.

Olde Pink House Wedding Photography by Julie Anne Photographer

Julie Anne started with this photograph that she captured from their wedding day, and overlaid the photograph with the design of their wedding invitation in Photoshop. She printed this on a custom Wood Box from WHCC. Next, she created a custom-designed Wooden USB Drive also from WHCC with the monogram that the couple used on a number of their other wedding day decor items. She then filled the box with prints from the wedding day to present to her clients.

Savannah Wedding Photography by Julie Anne Custom USB drive by Julie Anne Photographer in Atlanta, Georgia

Such a gorgeous way to incorporate design elements from your client’s special day in to a presentation that is truly breathtaking! Thank you again Julie Anne for allowing me to share!

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