Hey! Today I thought I'd share seven tips that have helped me through my first year as a full-time photographer. These tips helped me with the stress aspects of owning my business, rather than the technical aspects. I know how scary it can be to start something completely on your own, but it is so possible and any tress-relieving tips I can get are good tips in my book. So, let's get into it!
1. Get yourself a daily planner with hour-by-hour and monthly tracking
Whether you're the type of person to write everything down on paper like me, or you do everything on your phone, tracking how you spend your time is so important. It'll give you insight into how you're using your time, which gives you the ability to adjust your daily habits. You might also be surprised to see just how much free-time you actually have.
2. Start your day with some "Me Time"
As cheesy as this sounds, it's helped me a lot. Even if it's just 10-15 minutes (not including getting showered and dressed, doing your hair and/or make-up, and eating breakfast), it can help relieve some of that stress you might be feeling from the workload you have for the day. Hell, take 30-60 minutes if you want to! As long as it is controlled, there's no problem with starting your day off with an activity that you enjoy doing and isn't part of your work schedule. This is kind of a nice Segway into my second tip which is...
3. Take breaks
I can't stress this tip enough, especially since every photographer will spend at least 50% of their time on their phone or at their computer. Take 5-15 minute breaks throughout your workday (unless the task at hand makes it impossible). Get up from your office chair, couch, or bed and walk around the house, look out the windows, drink water, and stretch. This also applies to those times when you aren't anywhere near a computer or phone screen.
4. Take things one at a time
If you are not the most coordinated duckling out there, if you get easily distracted, and if you can't multi-task effectively, then this tip is for you and I. Take things one at a time, and take your time doing it. Be diligent and intentional with the work that you are doing, and be confident with the finished product. Focusing on one task instead of 3 or 4 or one billion tasks at a time is not always the most efficient way to do things.
5. Get in the networking game
I know, I know, this "networking" word can be intimidating to introverts. But, if you are able to find a good networking group that you like, it will be worth all of the worry, pressure, or anxiety you might feel. You will be surrounded by other business owners that you can glean information and knowledge from. You can make some great connections, and if you're in a solid group, those people will want to help you because ultimately it will help them. And although they might not be in the same industry that you are in, or anywhere close to it, you never know if they will be able to help you or pass your name along to someone else.
Even if you don't want to join a networking group, it's always a good idea to surround yourself with people who have the same interests as you, or interests that are in the same area as yours.
6. End your workday prepared
At the end of each workday, look at tomorrow's schedule and plan out as many tasks as you can, that way, the next morning you are free to go strait to work with all or most of your tasks lined out for you and you won't feel so rushed.
This can also be applied to weeks. At the end, or in the middle, of each week, take a moment to plan all of the tasks you can for the following week. This will make your next-day planning a little easier as well, because some of it might already be taken care of for you, and gives you a good base line or foundation. (Don't forget to schedule in a short break or two!)
7. Stay authentic
Hold the reason why you are doing what you are doing close to your heart and mind. Us photographers have an amazing talent and service to offer the world, and if you truly love what you do, you will find a way to do it. Learn and grow in your photography and your business. Stay true to who you are and offer authenticity in all of your work and interactions. If you apply that to your business and the relationships you make, it will prove fruitful and the word-of-mouth will bring customers to you. Remember who you are doing all of this for!
Well, that's my list of tips. I really hope this was helpful! Thanks for reading!