Today we're getting to know Katie Lamb. Say "hi" to Katie!
You’re a busy woman! With several photography styles, The Develop Retreat, Mentoring Sessions & more, how do you maintain a work/life balance? What tips do you have for other photographers who may be struggling with the balance?
During my first few years of running my business, I greatly struggled with maintaining a healthy work/life balance. I felt like, in order to succeed, every waking moment had to be dedicated to my business. I overbooked and overworked myself to a point that I became burnt out. It was a big wake up call for me to figure out a way to have a life outside of my job while still running a successful business.
There are three policies that I have found to be most helpful in creating and sustaining boundaries between my personal life and my work life. First, setting my pricing in a way that I am able to take on less clients each year and still bring in the same profit as I was when I was booking myself every day of the week. This not only allows me to invest more attention into each client for a better customer experience but also allows for more time in my office to get the business side of things taken care of.
Secondly, setting strict business hours (and sticking to them!) has been a huge factor in allowing me to separate my business from my personal life. Once my work day is over, I leave my office, shut my door, turn off the email alerts on my phone, and leave all business matters for the next day. Along with setting business hours, I also have my week divided into shooting days and office days. I only book sessions Tuesday-Thursday so that Mondays and Fridays are left for full days in the office. I do offer weekend sessions; however, they are an additional charge to make the time away from my family worthwhile since weekends are considered "off hours" for my business.
Lastly, I have found that creating a weekly to do list has greatly allowed me to better balance work and life. Every Sunday afternoon, I create my To Do List for the week - divided into days. This way I'm not working off one long To Do List that would tempt me to work all day and night to get as much checked off the list as possible. My list for the week is broken up into segments that I can realistically get done by the end of each work day which allows me to walk out of the office when my work hours are over.
As a successful photographer, you must be selling products. Tell us how you prep senior clients for an investment in your products. What are your best-sellers for seniors?
Products are a large part of my profit sales, especially for high school seniors. It has always been very important to me that the photographs my clients commission me for are not just handed over on a flash drive for them to get lost on Facebook or Instagram. Instead, I want them to walk away with tangible products that will last forever.
In order to not overwhelm my clients, I only offer three products: framed fine art prints, canvases, and my favorite and most popular product - albums. Luxury Fine Art Albums are the product that I really push the most from their first look at my website, to their initial inquiry, and all the way through image delivery. If I'm not able to meet with my client before their session, they receive a "video tour" of my albums and are also able to see them in person at the time of their session. It can be very difficult to sell products that clients can't physically see, so making an effort to always allowing that to happen is my top priority.
What advice do you have for photographers who are new to the senior market? How should they go about finding clients?
My greatest advice for any photographer that is new to the senior market is to embrace social media. Find out where your ideal clients "hang out" on the web, and be a strong presence there. For me, Instagram has been my greatest referral source along with word of mouth (which really go hand in hand). Seniors typically have a large following and having them post one of their photos (with your crediting information of course!) can be a huge marketing push for you. Think, if just three of your clients, each with 700 followers, post one of your photos, that is 2,100 people (most likely other potential clients their age) that have just marketed FOR you. Add in having a great customer experience, and they will rave about you to everyone. As a senior photographer, you have to use this to your advantage!