… SEO in mind. For the last few years, my business has ranked first on page one of the organic Google search results. Not a week goes by where I don’t get leads from that. [That’s the proof I’m looking for to measure, that I use SEO effectively.]
The second most effective marketing trick I learned was to have my elevator speech down. I need my business to stand out, so here’s how I introduce myself when people ask what I do for a living: “I’m a mind changer.”
Try to forget me now.
How do you price your services?
A lot of factors go into determining my pricing. The base is obviously the cost of doing business. Then it’s my time, how the images and videos will be used and what the market can bear.
Since I sell myself not just as a technician who pushes a button, but as someone who creates and produces mind-changing visual content, the main thing that the pricing itself does is weed out clients I’m not a good fit for.
What has been the biggest surprise so far after starting your own businessRealizing that people forget. I had an Art Director I worked with every day for years. We really enjoyed working together. About two years after I had gone out on my own and was struggling to find business, we ran into each other. She said she’d totally forgotten about me and that she’d been working with a client I’d be perfect for.
It was totally my fault — I wasn’t reaching out to my potential customers. That was probably the biggest turning point in how I market myself. [At that point I realized that I had much to learn about how to use SEO.]
What does a typical day look like for you?
I can find myself filming at 10,000 feet elevation in 25-below-zero temperatures in the mountains of Afghanistan one day and be writing a blog post for a national photographic society the next.
Or, I might be interviewing a 70-year-old pecan farmer in New Mexico another day and be figuring out how to automate the processes of my small business the next. There’s really no set schedule!
How do you juggle other responsibilities and interests outside of your business?
Being my own boss means I work long and hard, often deep into the night, but it also affords me the opportunity to take time to get involved in my kids’ schools, to volunteer at my church, to take a week off and cruise the Bahamas on a boat with just my family.
On one hand, I have hundreds of bosses — every one of my clients — and on the other hand I have just one. Me!
If you could go back in time, what’s the one thing you would do differently when starting your business?
I would have started helping people remember my business earlier. That first year was tough, when I was still naive enough to believe that everyone who knew me was just going to call and hire me.
My clients are the lifeblood of my company and, as we all know, it’s a lot easier and cheaper to keep an existing customer than find a new one. Want to know the secret to a happy client? Under promise and over deliver.
This article was first published on Own It. A social network of small business sponsored by Intuit on December 9th, 2016.