Last Friday I woke up to a text message from my past college roomie, Tory. Apparently she had been planning to attend Katelyn James' workshop on social media and marketing for small businesses. Unfortunately, poor Tory had woken up too sick to make the trek down I-95 to Katelyn's home in Richmond. She knew that I was in Richmond and that if you're a photographer in Richmond, you're pretty much guaranteed to be in love with Katelyn and her work. When she asked if I would buy her ticket from her, I instantly said YES.
I had read about the workshop on Katelyn's blog which I follow religiously. I thought about going, but what I really wanted was to save my money and do a coaching session with Katelyn. I've been to a few workshops now and am certainly benefiting from them, but I think hours spent on YOUR business and what YOU need help with are of an even greater value. So I was resigned to waiting on a coaching session, but it felt like fate when I woke up on Friday morning with a direct invitation.
I read a business book when I first started my photography business. It was about the head CEO of a magazine and how she had been successful. Her number one piece of advice was that when you're presented with an opportunity, to take it. Even if it's not where you thought you were going. It's been difficult to follow this advice and honestly, I don't always take it, but when in doubt, I try to.
The workshop was wonderful. Katelyn and Michael were, of course, the greatest hosts. It's obvious that they are just kind, generous people and genuinely open to sharing what they know. People have asked me if workshops are worth it. Why would anyone share the things that have worked in their businesses with their "competitors?" Katelyn addressed that and said that people were booking with her because they wanted Katelyn and Michael, not because they just wanted a wedding photographer. When people know the real you and love YOU, then you won't have competitors. I thought that was interesting and a good point to remember.
It's good to be reminded that this blog has a true purpose. When you read someone's thoughts every week, three times a week, you get a sense of who they are. That's an especially wonderful thing for me because I'm so introverted that I have a difficult time portraying my true self sometimes face to face. I've noticed this getting easier and easier though as people meet with me to meet with ME, not because I'm on a list of ten other photographers they might book.
It was a great workshop. No filler. Katelyn talks fast because she has a lot to say and I appreciate that! I had feared that since I follow Katelyn on social media, I already had a good idea of what she was doing marketing-wise, but it was nice to get the WHY behind the things she does. It helps me think about my purpose and why I make the decisions I do and how I could do things a little differently to fit my own business. Most of all, it gives me food for thought in the future. Every workshop I've attended has done just that.