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Friday Fun | Adding to our home..

Friday Fun | Adding to our home..

  We’re pregnant, y’all! … and you thought since we were in a newly built house we were were talking about putting an addition on…  :) Yes, we’ll be adding to our house, but not with construction – with a baby! We are SUPER...
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We’re pregnant, y’all!

… and you thought since we were in a newly built house we were were talking about putting an addition on…  :) Yes, we’ll be adding to our house, but not with construction – with a baby!

We are SUPER excited for our family to be growing and I have been so ready to be pregnant again! We knew we always wanted more than one kid and were hoping and praying that it would happen, and here we are! Pregnant once again! Ahhhhhhhhh! Jaxon is going to be a big brother! We’re going to be a family of FOUR… that’s crazy. And awesome. And exciting. REALLY exciting.

YAYyayayayayay!

Here are the answers to the most common questions we get:

How far along are you?
19 weeks this Thursday (4/16)

When’s your due date?
Mid September

How have you been feeling?
I’ve been feeling GREAT! With Jaxon’s pregnancy I felt pretty normal besides being a little tired and my growing midsection and this pregnancy has pretty much been the same! I had about 2 weeks (around 8 and 9) where I would feel slightly queezy in the evenings, but that went away and I’ve been feeling great ever since.

Are you going to find out what it is?
As a matter of fact we are pretty much 100% certain it’s a human… Hahaha. We’re so funny. But in all seriousness, heck yes. We are totally going to find out the gender. Are you crazy?? We gotta plan AND we’ll need time to mentally prepare ourselves if I (Jody) am going to be REALLY outnumbered with the guy/girl ratio or if the scale will start to lean in my favor. Girls unite!!

When do you find out the gender?
April 30th

Why wait to spill the beans now?
At first, we wanted to keep it on the down low due to the losses we previously experienced… just in case. And then WPPI in Vegas was coming up and we were going to be seeing so many of our friends in person so we thought that we would share it in person then, which was SO fun to do… and lately we have been just straight up BUSY. With the new software we are working on, our free time has been spent getting that ready for launch, so there hasn’t been much time to write any personal blog posts. ha.

Now that this is officially out in the open and public (“Facebook Official”), we’ll be sharing baby bump pics and bringing you along for the ride. Make sure to follow our journey on our family Instagram @itsthegrayfamily, and stay tuned for another exciting place where you may see us online soon :)

Thanks for taking part and joining us in our excitement :)

 

Building your brand with social media

Building your brand with social media

The more social media we have, the more we think we’re connecting, yet we are really disconnecting from each other. -JR Social Media is not what we think it is It is easy to think that having 35,000 Facebook fans, thousands of Twitter followers and loads of...
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The more social media we have, the more we think we’re connecting, yet we are really disconnecting from each other.
-JR
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Social Media is not what we think it is

It is easy to think that having 35,000 Facebook fans, thousands of Twitter followers and loads of Instagram likes means that we will have a thriving business, but that could not be further from the truth.

Unfortunately, many of us put a high value on Social Media power and give it too much of our attention and time.

Don’t build on THEIR platform

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The easiest way to focus on social marketing is to build great relationships with your base clients (past brides, photographers and vendors), and then give them a reason to talk about you and a tool to make talking easy.

FB, Twitter and Instagram are all secondary tools to supplement your marketing, and should never be the main focus of how you connect.

Why?

Because Facebook controls Facebook (you don’t) and if all your eggs are in their proverbial marketing basket and they change their system (which they do all the time) then you are in big trouble.

Focus on people, not the numbers

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You need to focus your marketing first on your personal network (clients looking at your blog, those on your email list, and people who you actually spend time with) because YOU control that outlet and not someone else. Then use FB and the like to supplement that.

When you do use Social Media to get your message out and connect, here are 3 key strategic tips to do that effectively:

1. Keep it Interesting

People engage when content is interesting. Think before you post, and post things that OTHER people will find interesting, and specifically, your target audience will think is interesting.

2. Be Helpful

If you help people, they will feel reciprocity and want to help YOU in return. If someone needs something, send them a link. If someone needs a resource, be that resource or find it for them.

3. Be Funny

People LOVE to laugh and engage big time when things are funny. Be creative with your funny posts and make sure that your humor lines up with your audience. (Just because you think a car crash is funny, doesn’t mean someone else does :)

If it isn’t Interesting, Helpful or Funny, chances are you should’t post it (unless your goal is to alienate large amounts of people).

Focus on them and not you. 

When posting messages, you should also NOT try and have the entire focus be on marketing your brand and talking about YOU and all the cool things YOU do. No one cares about you (sorry but that is the truth people!), but rather they care about themselves. So, if you are creating something for social media and want it to reach people, it needs to be things that THEY care about and that help THEM.

If you are the person that creates helpful content that enhances their lives, they feel reciprocity and will want to give back to you when you (on rare occasion), talk about yourself.


Example:

If you shoot maternity photos, then your social media “marketing” could be on “the top 10 Lifesavers for new Moms” or the “Best Baby Books for raising a Smart Kid” type of stuff. Then insert Funny and Interesting side anecdotes.

Become a resource that enhances your clients lives, and they will be your clients for life. (Click HERE to Tweet that quote out!)

Resources for further study

Read a few blog posts on your own about “Clever ways to use More Visual on Social Media

Subscribe to Copy Blogger, GoinsWriter, Michael Hyatt, HubSpot Marketing and read every single book by Seth Godin and Jay Levinson.


PS.  Interested in having a simple way to manage your ENTIRE wedding business?

Click here to sign up for news about the launch of our brand new software, Shootflow!

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Why Great Photos Don’t Sell Anymore

Why Great Photos Don’t Sell Anymore

Something More than Great Imagery…  Could it be that we have spent all this time honing our craft to become better and better photographers, and the harsh reality is that having great photos alone isn’t enough? The Truth About Quality Photographs  The...
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Something More than Great Imagery… 

Could it be that we have spent all this time honing our craft to become better and better photographers, and the harsh reality is that having great photos alone isn’t enough?

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The Truth About Quality Photographs 

The truth is clients just expect their photos to be good. No one goes around saying “I take OK photos, want to hire me?” So why in the WORLD would we try and base the price of our images off of the quality of our images?

The answer is because we are artists and this is our art. We want people to value it, but the hard truth is that once photography became widely available and much easier to do, the overall quality of images went up and clients started to simply expect them all to be good.

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What Else You Got?

Subconsciously, this is the question on all of our clients minds. If they are asked to pay anything over average for our products and services, then they expect something more.

So what MORE do you have to offer?

That is simple. We have to offer emotional connections to the products and services we offer.

This is done by first, telling gripping stories when we are initially meeting with clients and then second, following up with a great experience throughout the whole process from booking through the wedding day and beyond. If we can do that effectively, then clients will pay a premium for us. We saw this time and again in our wedding business where clients were willing to pay average prices up front, but once we created an emotional connection and a great experience, they paid 2x, 3x and even 4x what they initially thought they would spend!

For us that meant a $3,000 bride up front would turn into a $12,000 bride by the time we were done. And this wasn’t just some fluke with our brand. Luke and Cat saw this to the tune of over $400,000 in sales last year using this same idea, and we could go on and on of countless photographers we have personally coached that have had amazing results.

“People make purchasing decisions based on their emotional connection to a product or service.” 

-Jack Trout, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

How do I do that?

First, begin to connect to your clients emotionally and start by telling your best stories. What you need more than anything is to learn how to tell your own photographic stories in a highly engaging way. Once you learn how to craft the message of a powerful story (one you photographed), then you are at the beginning of the journey with your clients to give them much more than they thought they would get.

Value is creating through connection (Tweet this out!) and once your client connects emotionally to what you do, it’s the beginning of a great experience where trust is built which leads them to becoming willing to gladly invest back in to your business by paying you more.


PS.  The next key is having a step-by-step process to follow that helps you easily create a dynamic, emotionally connected experience for your clients. Our workflow system that is ALMOST done will do it FOR you… If you want to hear more about it, just click the link below. It is coming soon!

Show me the workflow!

Reset your business now

Reset your business now

“Success can distract us from focusing on the essential things that produce success in the first place.” Greg Mckeown - Essentialism Reset Conference We just returned from teaching as the keynote speakers of the Reset Conference in Champaign, IL and it was an awesome...
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“Success can distract us from focusing on the essential things that produce success in the first place.”

Greg Mckeown - Essentialism


Reset Conference

We just returned from teaching as the keynote speakers of the Reset Conference in Champaign, IL and it was an awesome time hanging with the sold-out crowd of 150 photographers that attended.

Being at a conference with the name “Reset” reminded us of something really key. All these photographers were coming to step back and take a look at what they were REALLY doing in their business, and reset if they needed to. All of us want to get on track and get successful, but we learned to navigate what we all want more than anything, success, with a little caution.

One of the worst things that can happen in your brand is to get successful. Because when that happens, you now have tons of great opportunities coming at you and it becomes hard to say YES to what TRULY matters.

 

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Photo credit: katelynjames.com

Speaking with our son in tow

Here we were taking 2.5 days to travel, teach, leave our home and our business for the weekend and bring our son along. And you know what? It was really easy and fun!

The reason for that is that we have already “reset” our business and started many years ago to focus on what truly matters most, and not allow lots of opportunity to distract us from our purpose. We have created a business that has margin, so our lives can have the space we need to do things like this and bring our son along for the ride.


How We Made a business with margin

The simple answer to living a life that has margin, is 3 parts:

1. Focus

If we focus on what we should be doing and take our focus OFF of what we should not be doing, we get a clear vision for where we need to go and life gets a lot more simple.

2. Intensity 

Dave Ramsey says that we must be intensely focused on our goals in order to make them into a reality faster. We are hyper focused these days on doing ONLY what matters most.

3. Time

You need quality time spent focused with intensity on what is truly essential to your brand, and when you spend that time MAKING your business behave, it creates what we all dream of, margin.

Margin allows us to bring our son with us to a gig and not feel overwhelmed. Margin allows us to take the morning off and re-connect with each other if we need to. Margin allows us to feel free during our daily working routine and not tied to the million to-do’s we have to get done.

You need margin in your life to create the freedom you need to live, and that comes with focused intensity. (Tweet this out!)

Have an amazing day!


PS.  If you need margin, then be sure to sign up for something we are creating that will give you margin and is going to help give you your life back. Sign up HERE for more info!

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