How to be a successful Boss Babe

Part One: Tips and secrets for building a network and following.

Hi! I'm Carrie, owner/lead photographer of Eventide Photography. I am excited to finally launch my blog. I have plans to use it to dump ideas and showcase weddings and lifestyle sessions. But to start off, I have something that has been on my mind for some time now so I felt it was time to dive in and start sharing.

I’ve been thinking on this for some time now, how to share my secrets and tips on getting your name/business out there to book and grow your brand. I offer mentorships for photographers to help with booking, editing, posing, etc. But that is only one small portion of owning a business. I am often asked how did I get started and how did I build my clientele? One of my many interests is marketing and public relations. I have a decade of experience on this subject and I am completely self-taught. So, I have decided to share some of my knowledge via my blog. I would love to hear other interests as well, so please feel free to shoot me an email or comment and let me know what you think. There are many questions us entrepreneur’s ask ourselves when we decide to open a business. Where do I start? How will I be successful? What will set me apart from others and convince people to trust me and choose me? How do I brand myself? What is my brand? Who is my target market? Will people like what I have to offer? What should I actually share about myself that I don’t mind the public knowing? How do I come up with content? This will be an ongoing series to dig into these questions.

The first in this series are tips for building a network and following. How to be a successful boss babe:

1. Believe in yourself. If you do not believe in yourself, how will you convince others to believe in you? You must not doubt your capabalities. I promise, I understand the fear that comes with starting your own business, but at some point you have to take a leap of faith and just go for it. You are obviously being hit with the entrepreneur bug-or curse however you want to see it. It is a yearning deep within your soul to do more than just earn the 9-5 paycheck from the ‘big man.’ It’s a desire to make a difference and to share your calling with others. I personally felt this calling straight from the Lord and knew that if I was obedient to Him, it would flourish.

2. Put social media on mute for a few weeks. Social media is nothing but noise. You need a clear mind without overwhelming distractions to really figure out who you are and what you want your brand to say about you. In order to do this, you need to do some soul searching, It will help you discover your calling, how unique you are and what your purpose for this business is that you desire. Ways to do this: sit in a coffee shop or in the woods alone with a notebook and pen and jot down things that you want your brand to say, listen to music that inspires you, go for a nature walk or thrift store shopping trip to draw inspiration. Sit down with your family or friends and ask them for feedback, they will be your biggest supporters and can help you more than you realize. 3. Invest in resources to draw out inspiration. Magazines, mentorships, workshops, a shadowing experience with someone you look up to, a weekend getaway, podcasts, books on the subject…whatever it takes to take some time to search within and let yourself grow. Once you are back on social media, create a board or Instagram Collection saving pictures that inspire you but do not copy these inspirations. Save quotes that speak to you. I love quotes! I have thousands saved for inspiration. Remember to set yourself apart from others, you must be authentic.

4. Find your tribe. This is not just your best friends kind of tribe. Find you a tribe of other boss babes who are there to support you, build you up, cheer for you and be a sounding board for each other. Schedule local meet-ups for coffee or 'work days' to build your relationship.

5. Get involved in the community. Yes. I know, you don’t really want to add yet another thing to your list, but you know what? Your business comes from the community and you want people to hear about you, know you, and grow fond of you. Start volunteering your time in whatever ways that you can to get your name out there and build a network of followers. For the first two years of business, I volunteered my time at several charity events to photograph the events and edit the photographs for free. I still do this each year but have a set limit of how many charities I volunteer my time for now, so that I am not working myself to death.

6. Support other boss babes and businesses that are your competitors. This is one of the most important ways to be a successful boss babe. Helping others succeed will not dampen your own success. Like, follow, support, share, comment, buy from, tag in posts, refer to others, etc. other businesses that are just like you! You will be amazed at the positive outcomes that will come from this. You will make new friends, you will gain respect, you will receive referrals and you will learn from one another.

7. Do not compare your success to others. Remember you are running your OWN race. You are in no competition with anyone but yourself. You started your business at a different time and a different capacity than others. Each of us bring our own life experiences to our businesses which makes every single business unique. People will want you for YOU, not a copycat.

8. Be real and honest. Never lie. If you are having a rough time meeting deadlines or producing what is expected of you because of X reasons…just be honest. You don’t have to go into full detail but a simple explanation from your heart will go a long way.

9. Learn from your mistakes. You WILL make mistakes. Let me repeat that. YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES, MANY OF THEM. Don’t let your mistakes bring you down. Get back up, shake it off, make notes of what you learned and start over.

10. Remember your 'why.' I’ve spoken about this for years now. If you aren’t having fun, what is the purpose? If you aren’t inspired, why do it? If it is only bringing you down and causing too much stress or separating you from your family, it is not worth it. Remember why you wanted this, remember the burning desire that you had in the beginning. Write your ‘why,’ down and go back to it every time you experience burn out. Because you will experience it eventually and you will cry, you will scream, you will be scared of failure and you’ll wonder what on earth were you thinking. But go back to your, ‘why’ and take a deep breath and a day off to regroup. If you are truly doing something that you are passionate about, you will never regret all the blood, sweat and tears.