Disappearing from social media today can set back your business, unless you have God on your side! I wanted to share with you how God financially sustained my business without me showing up, and how you can do it too!
Back in August of 2019, I hired a business coach (Maya Elious if you’re curious,) and we met on the sun-soaked tropical island of Bali, Indonesia to figure out how to extract my 6 years of expertise running a photography business, package it up, and turn it into a signature program. It was one of the best investments I’d ever made.
However, due to the Holidays, and an upcoming intercontinental move back to the U.S., Clay getting out of the military, traveling in a worldwide pandemic, etc… I wasn’t able to start working on building the program until I was back and situated in the U.S; which was in March.
And in case you didn’t know, creating a signature offer is a TON of work. So much. 🙈
It took everything out of me to develop the program. In March, I started writing the curriculum, (right when the pandemic had hit the U.S.,) and by May I had two of the five modules written, and was starting on the third.
But because I was writing around 60 pages of Google Docs a week, I didn’t have the energy to show up on social media. I couldn’t fathom the thought of another piece of “content” to create. 😅
On top of that, the social/political climate was SO much to process and handle, that I didn’t just want to add more noise to what was already there. I wanted to go crawl under a rock, process everything, and just do what God was calling me to do and focus on. So that’s what I did…
But, if you know anything about running a creative, online, service-based business… you know you have to show up to make money. Right? Or do you….? 🤔
I guess it depends on who your CEO is, because mine (God,) helped sustain my business without me showing up at all on social media. Yes, for real.
In fact, I had my highest month of revenue ever back in June of 2020, and I didn’t post on Instagram once. 😬 Won’t He do it!?!
So my goal today is to share with you exactly how God financially sustained my business without me showing up (and how you can too!) All it takes is just a little bit of prep work. (Which I semi-unknowingly did, and now can share it with you!)
1. I offered a beta service.
A beta-service is a service you’re testing out at either a) a reduced price point, or b) to a limited quantity to receive feedback. You intend to offer it regularly, you’re just doing market research to make sure it’s a service your ideal client/target market wants, and/or are getting feedback to make it the best it can be before you offer it to the public.
Because I was in the process of developing the faith-based coaching program for photographers, I realized I could take a limited number of clients through it to help me make sure a) it’s developed to answer all of their questions all along the way, b) to receive feedback/testimonials throughout the process to use on the official sales pages when it launches, and c) funds me for my time and helps money to continue coming in when I can’t be “selling” as much because I’m working on a project-based goal (versus a revenue-based goal.) In short, it was a win-win for everyone! 🎉
I decided to offer a limited quantity of these at a reduced price point. Honestly, WAYYY too reduced; but the wild thing is, I never shared about the service on social media, only to the discovery calls I had going on behind-the-scenes.
(If you’ve ever seen the CTA (call to action) at the bottom of my blog posts that says “Book a free strategy call with me,” or “book your free discovery call” — that’s how they found me and found out about it!)
The number of spots I allocated for the initial beta service booked up almost immediately. I couldn’t onboard anyone for that low of a price anymore, so I raised the price. Those booked out immediately. And so I raised the price again, and those did too.
People knew the value of the service they were signing up for, and couldn’t believe it was that much of a steal. Before I knew, it, I was coaching 11 clients 1:1 without ever even officially launching this beta service to the public. WHAT. Only God. 🤯
However, that 3-month period actually turned into 6-7 months, because I was DEDICATED to making sure I delivered on every single aspect of the program and answered all their questions. But I could do that, and not charge anything for it out of the commitment to pure excellence. ‘Cause #beta. (My clients weren’t mad about it at all. 😉)
So, how can you take this strategy and replicate it for your business?
Well first, pray about it. For real. Ask God if there’s a service you should be creating/offering for your business that would better serve your clients/target market, and ask for the strategy to implement it. Or, ask Him to lead you to the perfect coach who can, like I did! 😉
Maybe you’re an adventurous wedding/elopement photographer and you want to start offering an add-on to your wedding collections or a separate collection entirely where you help them plan their wedding/elopement day in its entirety, so maybe you do the sourcing for the decor, flowers, hair, and makeup artists, etc. You’d be taking on more of the planner role than just a photographer, so couples can just show up and have this day beautifully crafted for them.
You could offer this service at a reduced price point for X amount of people, and you could have a link in your bio or on your site that has a landing page that explains the type of service and how it’s in beta, and how you’d be excited to share more about it with them on a call to see if they’d be a good fit.
Before you know it, you’ll be booked out. 😎 (Pro tip: Don’t forget to write a sales call script to keep you on task and make sure you cover everything you need to!)
2. I implemented a semi “hands-off” Pinterest strategy.
I’ve been blogging for around three years now, and boy has it been worth it. One of the main reasons I blog, is so I can get pins to those blog posts onto Pinterest.
Recently, one of my blog posts took off (due to SEO,) and really helped to skyrocket my inquiries. I did an engagement session in Hot Springs, Arkansas for one of my brides, and made sure to blog the session using long-tail keywords like “hot springs Arkansas couples session” in the Yoast SEO section.
Then, my Pinterest manager, Bec with Little Luxe Co, took it from there (like she does with all my blogs,) and made sure it circled the interwebs to be seen by all the people who google “Hot Springs Arkansas Couples Session.”
This is another way how God financially sustained my business so I’m able to avoid being on social media entirely if I have to, and can still bring in leads! It’s nice when you’re exhausted and don’t have the energy to show your face to the public or constantly curate your feed. (Granted I’m always going to recommend still showing up where you can, but I personally get it if there’s a season in your business where you’re building something big, or just had a big life change, and can’t.)
3. I developed a call strategy.
It’s pretty common knowledge that you can convert leads better on the phone. Your personality gets to shine through, you connect better overall, and you really get a feel for if working together would be a good fit for the both of you.
Moral of the story: if you’re not getting on the phone with potential clients, you NEED to be. Revamp your workflow to include an opportunity for potential clients to talk to you on the phone or via video chat. You can do this by adding a line into your initial inquiry response that says something like “I’d really love it if we could hop on the phone to get to know each other better, and so I can better figure out your session needs, xyz. Then, drop a Calendly link so they can easily choose a time that works best for them, and you don’t have to do the whole “back and forth” email thing.
Then, develop a “call script.” This is essentially a script you’re following loosely to be sure you cover everything you need to on the call, and don’t miss any important details. It also helps you feel more confident because if you forget where you were going with something, etc., you’re able to bounce right back and not sit in awkward silence like 😅.
These discovery calls/calls with potential clients are another way God financially sustained my business, and why I make at least 75% of my revenue, so yeah — it’s worth it!
4. I diversified my revenue streams.
We hear how important this is all the time, to “not put our eggs in one basket. But it really is true. The average millionaire has seven streams of income. It’s so important to spread it out if we want to build wealth.
One of the ways I did this, and how God financially sustained my business, was by implementing an affiliate income stream to my business. I’m a HUGE fan of Honeybook for all they’ve done for my business, and thousands of others. And because I love them so much, I checked to see if they had an affiliate program. Turns out they did! So now when I share about them, I’m sure to include my affiliate link. When someone signs up for Honeybook using my link, they get 50% off of their first year of Honeybook, and I get $200 direct deposited into my bank account. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Fun fact: To date, I’ve made $18,500 doing this.
Yes, I’ve made over $18,000.00 writing blog posts about Honeybook, including my link, and then having my Pinterest manager promote them on Pinterest. Fa realz. That doesn’t count my Amazon affiliate income, or Flodesk, etc.
The best thing about affiliate income is just all of a sudden getting unexpected deposits into your bank account. 🎉
Recently, I bought some gorgeous glassware at Anthropologie, (bc it was vintage French vibes and I died a little over it,) and I didn’t even have to feel guilty about it, because I made an extra $400 in unexpected affiliate income. It’s the little *big* things for me.
My favorite affiliate income opportunities in my biz that I use and love are Honeybook and Flodesk. So, if you get Honeybook, you’ll actually be laying the groundwork to be able to do the exact same thing, and I’d LOVE to coach you on exactly how to do it. 😎💸
See what I did there?! Easy peasy!
A lot of times, we feel chained to social media. We feel like we just HAVE to post x amount of times a week, or that we have to do xyz in order to be successful.
But to be completely honest, you just need to pray… and then execute on what God tells you to do. That’s the truth.
I decided I was tired of social media, so I found another way. I asked God to open my eyes and mind to any alternate routes of income, to free me up to do what He’d call me to do. Diving into these strategies allowed me to bring money in without burning myself out by trying to be everywhere all the time; and it brought me SO much life and joy back. That’s how God financially sustained my business!
Here’s to it doing the same for you, friend. 🥂
* Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. However, I wouldn’t recommend anything to you that I didn’t 100% both love, and use, myself.
IF YOU’RE REALLY STRUGGLING IN YOUR BUSINESS, BOOK A CLARITY CALL WITH ME FOR HELP ON PINPOINTING YOUR BIGGEST ROADBLOCKS.
Then, if you decide it’s a fit and you NEED us to work together stat, we can totally proceed with mentorship and get this education party started! 🥂
I wholeheartedly believe that if you’re here and reading this page, it’s not by accident. I’ve been praying for this year’s mentoring clients, and for God to truly equip me with the knowledge and resources, tailored just for you, to project you into your next season and help you to be more confident – because THIS is your year.
It’s time. No more excuses. Let’s do this, and rise up to who God has called us to be in both our lives and businesses. 🙌🏼
LOOKING FOR MORE HELPFUL PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS? FEEL FREE TO BINGE ON THESE BLOG POSTS, OR PIN ’EM ON PINTEREST FOR LATER!
If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.
Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!?