Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm sharing the one thing I would invest in if I were launching a new business right now. A lot of you are aspiring business owners, and maybe you've even started to work on your business website! If so, you might be overwhelmed at all there is to do and what it costs. Which things are worth the money? Which things can you cut corners on? What do you really need now, and what can wait? Looking back, here's the one thing I would prioritize that I don't see a lot of entrepreneurs prioritizing these days.
I've been in the entrepreneur world for about 5 years now and I've met a lot of business owners during that time. Both online and in real life. When you're just starting out, you tend to do a lot of networking! I also did a lot of pop up shops before I had the pleasure of opening my own brick and mortar store, and I met a lot of other business owners at those pop ups. And these days you exchange Instagram handles more than you exchange business cards, right? So I've seen a lot of social media accounts and websites from small business owners. And there's one one thing I noticed a lot. And there's one thing new business owners complain about a lot. And that's professional photography and the cost of it.
If there's one thing I can persuade you to invest in, it would be professional photography. And listen, you don't need to go for the gold and hire someone expensive. No, no. Not necessary. You can upgrade to better photography as your business grows and makes more revenue (in fact, I've just hired a new more experienced photographer to upgrade my website photos in 2022!). But starting out, I highly, highly, highly suggest you get yourself some professional photos. If you have a website (well, you better! That goes without saying!) it needs to look professional and polished. If you're selling online, people cannot touch and see the product for themselves. You have to convey how beautiful and amazing it is in photos. That can't be done with crappy iPhone photos taken by someone who doesn't know how to edit photos. And if you're selling services (such as coaching or consulting) you are the product. So you need to look polish and trustworthy and professional in your photos, or potential clients are going to have a hard time trusting you with their dollars. Bottom line - your photos are your language. It's how you communicate with people. Most people don't read words these days. For real! For example, Instagram captions are kind of a dead thing, right? If you don't capture their attention with a photo, they definitely aren't going to read the words under it. Heck, even if they like the photo, they still might not read the words. It's all about instant impact with visuals.
Despite this, so many business owners complain about hiring a professional and claim they don't have the money. Well, I'm sorry to break this obvious news to you, but if YOU won't invest in your business, don't expect others to! Right? Right. If you truly are unable to invest in some photos, see if you can hire a photography major from a nearby college. These students often have to build up a portfolio, so they might work for a very low rate or entirely free. Think outside the box! You might even be able to barter - if you sell jewelry and you need jewelry photos, perhaps you can agree to give the photographer 5 free pieces if she does this work for you. Or maybe you have a friend who is really, really good with iPhone photos. There are so many editing apps out there to make photos look polished and professional and maybe you have a friend or two who can navigate those. Get creative! After all, coming up with creative solutions to problems is one major job of an entrepreneur.
So when you're making your budget for your new business, leave some room for professional photos. You won't regret it! You have one opportunity to grab a stranger's attention.
I hope you're able to learn something valuable from my own business journey and experiences! If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe.
P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to access and read the entries that resonate most!