402: Katie Kolenberg – Take control and thrive with your photography business during the pandemic

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By Andrew Hellmich: Photographer, Interviewer, Podcaster and Owner of Impact Images, Andrew Hellmich: Photographer, and Owner of Impact Images. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Premium Members, click here to access this interview in the premium area.

Katie Kolenberg of www.heartstoryphotography.com.au and www.katiek.com.au was interviewed for episode 112 of the podcast – around five years ago. I felt then, as I do now, she and her husband Jeremy are two of the most hardworking photography business owners out there. In this interview, Katie shares how to take control and thrive with your photography business during the pandemic.

I was not surprised when Katie told me their business has recently seen HUGE growth. They had their biggest quarter, biggest ever month and biggest ever week – $30K in sales – all this in the last four months.

She said we made some deliberate decisions and changes that have made this happen, and we still work only 30 hours a week each!

That was just before the holidays. Since returning to work, I learnt they had 16 shoots booked in the first week!

Katie posted the following thoughts on Facebook a few years ago, and I feel they are the perfect jumping-off point for this interview… she said:

Starting my photography business seven years ago, I had no idea what the future held.

Had I known the amount of hard work, stress and heartache that self-employment would bring, I *may* have thought it through a little more. I'm glad I didn't.

I have worked harder in the last seven years than I've ever worked in my life, and I have had many, many tantrums along the way.

But I've also had the most incredible time.

I've created 1000s of pieces of artwork that are hanging in homes all over Canberra, bringing smiles to faces.

Running a small business feels insurmountable. Sometimes I get sick of people, and I tune out of the space I need to be in because I'm exhausted, and I've temporarily lost my creative mojo.

Sometimes people can be downright disrespectful, it hurts, and I realise I have to grow thicker skin.

Sometimes I'm my own worst critic, so it's an uphill battle to be a better photographer and a better person and a more successful business owner. It's relentless, and you can never really let it go, even when you're on holidays.

But a quick look back over your shoulder can be dizzyingly satisfying.

In this interview, Katie shares what's working in her business right now and the things she's implemented to see massive growth during the pandemic.

Here's some more of what we cover in the interview:

  • Dealing with business hurdles that every photographer will face
  • Setting boundaries and keeping perspective to achieving a work-life balance
  • Reasons why clients can be difficult
  • The importance of creating policies & processes to help run a successful business
  • Why you need to be transparent with photography pricing
  • The secret to Katie's 4-month business success during COVID19
  • What motivated Katie to keep going when things were tough
  • Katie's lead, booking and sales targets
  • Strategies that had a positive impact on Heartstory Photography
  • How to help your business survive during lockdown periods
  • How to market your business without running FB ads
  • Photography contest workflow and process for leads, bookings and sales
  • Dealing with cancelled and rescheduled bookings
  • Using SMS messaging to contact clients about their bookings
  • Katie's cancellation policies and what you can say to clients
  • Why you must set boundaries in your business
  • Using Acuity to book pre-consults for the big win
  • How Acuity has helped increased Katie's average sale
  • Katie's workflow and process for utilising Acuity
  • Identifying clients that are a good fit for your business
  • How to increase your average photography sales easily
  • Do you have to be in the right location to have a successful business?
  • Photographers should hire other photographers to get the full client experience
  • Katie's coaching and mentoring program

Katie Kolenberg Photography Podcast

What’s on Offer for Premium Members

If you’re a premium member, you should have received an email with links to your version of this interview – the full length and more revealing version where you hear the absolute best tips and advice from every guest.

If you’re on the fence about becoming a premium member, join with the $1 trial today and get access to the FULL interviews each week, get access to an amazing back catalogue of interviews and ALL future interviews delivered automatically to your phone or tablet.

Plus special member-only interviews.

Business growth is made up of lots of small things. It's not generally one big move. It's lots of little tiny steps that all contribute. – Katie Kolenberg

You'll also receive access to the members-only Secret Facebook Group where you can connect with other Premium Members and interview guests to help, support and motivate you to take ideas you hear in each episode and put them into action. There are also FB live video tutorials, role-play interviews and special live interviews happening in the group. You will not find more friendly, more motivated, caring and sharing photographers online.

Seriously, that's not all.

In addition to everything above, you'll get access to and instructions on forming or joining a MasterMind Group with other premium members. These groups are super motivating, make you accountable and build friendships with other pro photographers with similar motives to you – to build a more successful photography business.

Katie Kolenberg Photography Podcast

What is your big takeaway?

Following this interview, I’d love to know if you're taking anything away from what Katie shared. Is there something you heard that excited or motivated you to the point where you thought, yeah, I'm going to do that! If so, let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below, let me know what your takeaways were, what you plan to implement in your business as a result of what you heard in today's episode.

If you want to be successful and keep going as a photographer in business, and not become complacent, then you have to have that kind of discipline around your life. – Katie Kolenberg

If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Katie or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them in the comments area below.

Katie Kolenberg Photography Podcast

iTunes Reviews and Shout-outs

Each week I check for any new iTunes reviews and it's always a buzz to receive these… for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it's confirmation that I'm on the right track with the interviews and that they really are helping you improve your photography business. That's awesome!

Secondly, iTunes is the biggest search engine when it comes to podcasts and it's your reviews and ratings that help other photographers find PhotoBizX. More listeners mean more interviews and ultimately a better show.

If you have left a review in the past, thank you! If you haven't and you'd like to, head to https://photobizx.com/itunes and you can leave some honest feedback and a rating which will help both me and the show and I'll be sure to thank you on the show and add a link to your website or blog if you let me know the URL of your website and your name.

Alternatively, if you've left a review for PhotoBizX and are looking for more backlinks to help your SEO, leave a review for the new Photography Xperiment Podcast and email me your keywords or keyword phrase and where you'd like me to link to.

Another great way to get a backlink to your site is to send a video testimonial. It doesn't need to be fancy and your phone will be perfect. Click record and tell me how PhotoBizX has made a difference to you and your photography business.

Katie Kolenberg Photography Podcast

Thank you!

Thanks again for listening and thanks to Katie for coming on to share her thoughts and experiences on how to be proactive and continue to successfully grow a family portrait photography business, even during the pandemic and massive disruptions.

I made the decision early on that this is outside of my control and what we're going to do instead is we're going to take control back. Whenever someone reschedules or asks to change their bookings, we will ask other people to move into their spot. We started to take an active response to the disruptions and that enabled us to keep our books full. – Katie Kolenberg

If you have any suggestions, comments or questions about this episode, please be sure to leave them below in the comment section of this post, and if you liked the episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post!

That’s it for me this week, hope everything is going well for you in life and business!

Thanks and speak soon
Andrew

The post 402: Katie Kolenberg – Take control and thrive with your photography business during the pandemic appeared first on Photography Business Xposed - Photography Podcast - how to build and market your portrait and wedding photography business.

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