We create brands and websites for photographers, planners, and other creatives who want to go beyond pretty to create an experience for their community. We learned through launching a number of successful businesses that the best brands and websites encourage people to take action. They invite them into a story, educate and serve, and transform.
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It’s hard to believe that we’re already two weeks into the second quarter of the year. We’ve been taking some time to evaluate the goals we set in the winter. And while we have lots to celebrate such as keynoting at The Reset Conference and launching new customizable Showit themes in The Palm Shop, we also have plenty of room for improvement.
After two quarters of running Davey & Krista, we’re now beginning to be able to look at how some of our decisions have played out. There’s plenty we’re excited about and grateful for, but there’s also a few areas where we know we dropped the ball. Here’s a look at 5 of the mistakes we’ve made and the lessons we’ve learned over the past two quarters.
Managing multiple brands can be tough work, and we didn’t make it any easier by launching a separate website for The Palm Shop. This happened for a few reasons, but primarily because we were offering Showit website templates, so we wanted a Showit website. All of our other websites had always been custom WordPress websites.
Since launching The Palm Shop and spending more time designing custom Showit sites for clients, we’re sold on Showit. The Showit team is top-notch, and the website builder is both robust and easy-to-use. (Hint) Be on the lookout for a massive redesign and consolidation of brands in the near future.
Lesson: Considering this more of a reminder than a new lesson, but clarity is super important when it comes to your brand and website. What do you do or offer? Who do you do it for or offer it to? What action do you want people take when they land on your website?
This was a bozo move. Back when we launched Davey & Krista in September of last year, the plan was to make that our primary focus since we were taking on far less weddings. Additionally, a lot of industry peers had already “Liked” our photography page since we had started providing education. At the time it seemed logical to continue providing education and business resources in the same place. But it’s clear now that we should have created a different page for Davey & Krista.
We’re big believers in doing things the right way even if it takes a little longer to get to where you want go. This is why we’ve built our mailing list from scratch even though we had built a decent list during our prior project. We should have done the same with our Facebook page.
Lesson: Doing things the right way—even if it’s the “slow” way—almost always leads to more meaningful growth. And probably, faster growth in the long run. A big part of running a business (and just life in general) is showing up everyday.
We made big plans for video at the beginning of this year—Facebook and Instagram lives, webinars, and more—and I think this was where we came up the shortest. Outside of single video I created about Showit SEO late last year, we haven’t touched video. And the truth is there’s so much opportunity when it comes to video! Not only have more platforms started to focus on video, but it’s a great way to connect with people.
Part of the issue is I’m a perfectionist, and it’s more tedious for me to edit video than it is to edit a blog post. It’s easy to come up with excuses not to do things. But in the end, those excuses are often empty reasons for procrastinating.
Lesson: Done is (usually) better than perfect! And diving into things before you’re 100% ready is what leads to growth. It may not go as well as you’d like the first few times around, but it’s better than not going at all. Join us for our first Facebook live TODAY (Tuesday, April 11th at 10:30 a.m. EST) on our Davey & Krista Facebook page.
That sounds fun. We could do that. What if I say “No” to something and regret it later? What happens if we really needed that opportunity? I don’t want to miss out.
Those are just a few of the thoughts that get tossed around when an opportunity presents itself. But the truth is that being deliberate about saying “Yes” will often lead to more ideal projects/clients, more fulfilling work, and more control over your time. It’s natural to say “Yes” to a lot when first starting a business, but as it grows it’s important to be more deliberate.
And saying ‘yes’ to everything has also given us excuses not to start or complete certain projects that we feel we really should be working on. See mistake #5.
Lesson: Those people who seem to get the most done say “yes” to the projects, clients and opportunities that are truly a good fit for their business. Not only do those ideal clients and opportunities lead to other ideal clients and opportunities, saying “yes” to the best things means more time in your day to work on actually building your business. Saying “yes” to everything is a great way to get burned out.
Cryptic, I know. But I think we have some really fun and exciting things coming in the near future, and I’m excited to share about it all. But in order for us to share about it, we have to check a few tasks off our to-do list. I think this mistake is the “compound interest” of mistake #4 and my perfectionist tendencies.
Another reason why it was easy for us to drag our feet on projects we were truly excited about is that we tend to prioritize client work and the daily tasks of running our business. That is by no means a bad thing – we love our clients and we absolutely feel that prioritizing clients is necessary. However when we were getting started, we could have been better about setting aside 1-2 hours a say or even one day a week to work on “dream” projects or building projects. We’ve found that if we aren’t intentional about setting that time aside, it never happens.
Lesson: In order to make new projects and business building projects happen, make sure to balance them with the daily work of running a business. Set time aside to work on those projects and make it a priority! Put aside 5-10% of your business time each week to work on projects that are life-giving or fun, but may not immediately offer a return on investment.
It’s crazy to think how much we’ve learned already this year through trial and error. We have some big things in store this quarter – things we actually plan on getting to – and we can’t wait to share them with you! Did you meet your goals during the first quarter? What did you learn?
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