It’s my grandmothers favorite story of me and she recalls it almost every time I go see her. Her eyes light up as she recounts walking down the hallway of my childhood church, opening the door to the nursery where I was, and seeing me with one hand on my hip, my index finger pointed out, and 5 kids lined up against the wall. At 2 years old I was telling them what we were going to do. She claims they were all bright eyed, likely in sheer terror, but that everyone of them listened to what I was saying.
My entire family calls it being bossy. I call it being a born leader.
For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed helping others and coaching them. Whether it was showing kindergarten friends how to make friendship bracelets, leading a team into the bush of Africa to serve the less fortunate, or teaching new photographers how to use their camera or maximize their blog SEO. There are few things as gratifying for me as helping another person succeed and watching them grow and flourish.
Last year I had the honor I having two interns and, during that time, I realized how much joy I got from teaching them everything I know about running a photography business. When I started in this business I quickly got a taste of how vicious this industry could be and how quick photographers were to tear each other down. Not all photographers were like that, and there were a few that were very open and willing to give me advice, but the ones that tore me down did so enough that I did what any logical person would do. I hid. I quietly built my business and didn’t do much to put myself out there as a leader because I was afraid of the backlash I would receive. Backlash that I’m pretty sure my two-year-old-self didn’t bat an eyelash over. I hadn’t really ever considered coaching because I’m not a superstar photographer that everyone knows and follows, but a good friend pushed me to realize that I had so much to offer other photographers. In the 4.5 years I’ve been in business I’ve built something that I am very, very proud of. Of course I didn’t do it all on my own – I had the support and guidance of a few very key people – but in the end, it was my hands that had to do the work.
My business is now at a point where the early years (and tears!) of working day in and day out to get the train going are passed by and the train is moving. I am not begging for business, and I don’t have to think twice when turning down a prospective client that I don’t think is a good fit for our brand. And now that the business is running very well on its own, I want to start getting back to something I am very passionate about – teaching and coaching. Over the years I have been in business I’ve been able to mentor some photographers on a small scale and it has been so rewarding to see THEIR businesses grow into something that THEY are proud of. So in the end of 2013 I began putting together ideas for a coaching program. I knew that there were a plethora of photographers offering 1 hour Skype mentoring sessions, but I wanted my coaching program to be different. I wanted it to be MORE. I didn’t want to Skype with a photographer for an hour and just leave them hanging with an overloaded brain and an overwhelming to do list. I wanted to hold their hand, to help guide them step by step, to follow up with them and hold them accountable along the way, to give them the tools needed to help their businesses succeed, and to walk them through an entire overhaul of their business in order to make it something that works for THEM. So I got to work. I started with writing down the topics I felt qualified to give advice on, I came up with a model that I wanted to use, I made a website, and I began writing a “curriculum” that I would have photographers go through. In the end, the coaching program that I am launching is something I am super excited about!
If you are a photographer – new or seasoned – and you are at a point where you just feel like you are so exhausted from running into the same problems over and over, this coaching program may be for you. If you have no idea what your brand is or how to reach your ideal client, this coaching program may be for you. If you aren’t sure if running your own business is something you can continue doing, this coaching program may be for you. If you love the art of photography but loathe all the business details and get overwhelmed by the tasks at hand, this coaching program may be for you. If you haven’t found a solid workflow or systems that stick, this coaching program may be for you. If you aren’t sure if this coaching program is for you, visit the website, and send me an email. I would love to talk to you about taking you on as a coaching client!
And since this is the launch of my coaching program, I felt like it was appropriate to do a contest! So here it is. Instagram or Facebook the image below and use the hashtag #coachingwithaliciaann. At the end of the month I will randomly be selecting 1 person from Facebook and one person from Instagram to win 6 months of coaching with me! You are allowed to enter once a day and each time you post and hashtag, it counts as a vote!
Here’s to making your business work for you!