5 Ways to Create a Plan to Uplevel Your Small Business

branding photographer building a photography business business growth for creatives with chronic illness destination photography small business Mar 31, 2022



Success does not happen by accident, ya’ll. My most recent podcast guest, photographer Angie McPherson, can assure you of that. With many small businesses out there wanting to emulate the same lifestyle and business model of their successful predecessors, we often forget a few things. First, that role model you’d like to emulate is a couple of years ahead of you, and second, you’re missing out on having different ideas to promote your brand! The goal of any creative business is to create consistent income and repeat customers. Through listening to Angie’s story again, I was inspired to hear that much of what we both had in common was that we increasingly relied on going back to business basics to stand out from the crowd. Interested to hear it? Here are our Five ways to uplevel your small business game.

People Book People

“My girl is Tamara Mori, and I'm obsessed with her. I watched her on her talk show. I go to her website, and I'm on her Instagram. I can just connect with her because it's always photos of herself or her family, what she's eating, what she's doing, and I'm like, how do you show up like that?”

To answer my question- Because people book people. In a world where everything is digital, and everyone is sliding into one another’s DMs, we are hungry for personal connections, relatable content, and purchasing items that have meaning. That’s why it’s essential to be yourself. Bring your offline self to your online self and watch the inquiries grow. Who knows? You might get a question from the post about your dog.

It’s all about the value proposition. To your audience or clients, they are thinking “Why is this so important?” As a consumer, we expect to get the information that we need in order to make the decision without a person selling us. We don't know who you are if you don't tell us who you are. If you don't tell them your story and how it actually relates to us, it makes it really hard for us to have a genuine connection beyond your online presence. Hence, if we see a great post about your dog and how he forced you to focus on the simple things each day, we as a consumer can relate because that’s how we feel with our own dogs. A personal connection is instantly formed. A positive mindset is set.

Believe it or not, people still buy things based on emotion and feeling good about the person they bought from. Be yourself, build a connection and treat your clients like gold. Then watch them turn into repeat customers.

Angie McPherson, Photographer

Angie McPherson, Photographer

Sow Seeds

Use your time effectively- wherever you’re at, whatever you’re doing. You never know when new business walks up. Angie did this best by maximizing her visibility while traveling.

“I like to travel for my business as far as going to workshops and retreats...things like that. So I started to think, ‘You know what? When I go places I need to just put out a call and say, ‘Hey, I'm going to be in California. Does anybody want to book me for a shoot?’”. So I started doing that a year or two ago and it just works so well! It might look like ‘Hey, I booked this session and I'm going to take a trip to a workshop or feel like visiting Maryland or New Orleans’ and I work around it.”

Angie went to New Orleans for a shoot and ended up shooting two more times during her stay. She put a call out on social, then started posting tons of social content on her Instagram. Then people found her profile via New Orleans-related hashtags, and they were booked! Now, New Orleans is part of her travel-work rotation as people know her in the area now.

No matter how small your business is, this is a great way to not only get new clients but just for people to get in contact and learn what it is you do. Even if you don’t travel often, apply the same concept when you go to a coffee shop or work from a co-work space. Get out there!

Pro tip: Speaking of contact, you would be surprised how hard it is to get in touch with businesses. Potential clients will find someone else if you don’t make it easy. That’s why Angie is so successful- she makes herself available, sows her seeds wherever she is and makes it simple to get in touch with her.


Delegate Your Time

When you are running your business on your own, every minute counts. Where you put your time each day counts. That’s why at some point, you’ll notice that running the whole ship on your own isn’t effective to accommodate repeat clients on top of new ones. Angie knew this first hand; “At my full-time job, I had a start time, a break in the day and I had time to go home. I didn’t just come to work and say, ‘Okay, what am I going to work on today?’. Sure, I have time, but how do I want to be spending that time?’

You have to let some things go in order to grow. Angie started small by outsourcing little things like grocery shopping to Instacart because that saved time out of her day. Knowing how much your time is worth, puts your schedule into focus. Once the little things are outsourced, you may lean in more and hire an assistant to help you stay on top of things. That way you can focus on revenue-generating $100 an hour jobs instead of the $15-hour jobs that are admin-focused.

When you delegate successfully and create a schedule that works best for you, the more clients you can take on. Simple as that. You never want to say no to new business, but if you’re swamped, your returning business takes priority while new business suffers. Make time to have more time.

Rest + Reschedule

This one is short and sweet. Some of the best advice I give often to others is to rest. Don’t quit! Just rest and reschedule. Don’t think that’ll happen to you? Your body will tell when it's time. Burnout is frequent in our area of work, so take time to take care of yourself. Upleveling your business will take time and it will take energy. You can’t bring in and retain your clientele if you’re running on 50%. 

There you have it! 5 ways to craft a plan to uplevel your business to stand out and most importantly, guarantee repeat customers. Special thanks to Angie McPherson for sharing her story! You can hear more here. For more information on going back to the basics to uplevel your game, check out my podcast episode here. Have any basic ways you used to uplevel your business’s presence? Share them below!

Make sure to follow & Subscribe to She’s Crafted To Thrive Podcast, on your favorite streaming channel. Join me inside of my free private Facebook group here.



Want to get in touch with Angie?

Connect with Angie here