Managing Your Time As A Business Owner

 

iHeart May

How to manage your time as a business owner

Owning a business is hard work. The passion and drive sometimes get depleted by the multiple tasks needed to succeed. Lack of management and focus can be critical to keep business moving in the right direction. Sometimes being too many things creates disfunction and distractions. Think about it, you are many things:

  • king of networking (even if your a queen)
  • an expert in your field
  • a student in your field
  • your top salesperson
  • HR department
  • marketing manager
  • receptionist
  • IT staff
  • janitor

These roles don’t even factor in the higher priority and personal roles in everyday life like:

  • Mother/Father
  • Wife/Husband
  • Something special to someone
  • social media community manager
  • adventurist planner
  • housecleaner
  • fitness trainer
  • dry cleaner
  • landscaper
  • mechanic
  • dog walker
  • chef

So it’s fair to say aspiring to your dreams and goals can get a bit hectic. Managing your life means managing your business: professional and personal. Your life is a unified business you manage. Some things to remember that can make an easy balance to  your life are:

  • Prioritize your goals – knowing daily, monthly, quarterly, and long term keep you grounded
  • Set work hours for yourself – you’re the boss of you… now get bossy with yourself!
  • Visualizing success daily – if you don’t believe in you who will?
  • Stick to a routine – work, exercise, socializing, it all gets factored in to time spent well
  • Give back – spend some time mentoring or helping out others, it sparks rejuvenation
  • Work hard, play harder – everyone needs to recharge, do what you love, love what you do!

In the long run, managing yourself is the hardest job you will ever do. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Identifying your weaknesses and retraining yourself takes time. Take each day as a chance to improve!

 

Did you enjoy this post? See a previous post for inspiration on Keeping The Creative Child Alive In Your Business!

 

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Keeping The Creative Child Alive In Your Business

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Most of you went into Photography to be creative. The job comes with great perks: traveling, working for yourself, being involved in visual marketing, to name just a few. But when your Photography business faces the harsh reality that it is a business what happens? Your love of being a wanderlust creative crashes into reality. Balancing acts of marketing and sales, customer service, and all the other daunting tasks of a business. How do you cope as a creative?

Some things you can do to make sure the creative child in you (that survived growing up) stays nurtured are:

  • Start your day with a walk
  • Write in a journal
  • Keep a you book that tracks happenings that affect you
  • Stop to smell the flowers
  • Sing in the shower (even if you’re tone deaf)
  • Volunteer at a pet shelter to walk dogs or pet the cats
  • Schedule a date night with your significant other
  • Plan a throw back family game night (I recommend charades)
  • Take a drive with no destination
  • Let your voicemail do its job… take messages for you
  • Plan a Sunday brunch with your closest BFF’s
  • Conquer a fear
  • Call an old friend just because you can
  • Pay someone a compliment
  • Smile at a stranger
  • Pack a blanket and go stargazing
  • Wear a hat to work
  • Listen to a new cd of an artist that you have no idea about
  • Go to a matinee alone
  • Sit by the ocean

 

Sometimes the best thing you can do to get back to you is remembering why you went into business for yourself to begin with. Business gets clouded with rules and management, schedules and conformity. Think outside the box and focus on your own time management. Never forget to schedule time for the creative child in you!

How’d You Get That Shot with Michelle Kawka

 

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

 MichelleK_Shot

 

NAME:

Michelle Kawka, photographer
Find Michelle on Facebook
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WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY ?

Portraits, Corporate, Events and Weddings. I shoot landscapes for my soul.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

I studied in Italy while in college & started taking pictures.  After college, I worked for awhile in a bunch of office jobs, but I still took pictures.   My friends all got married around the same time and kept telling me that they liked my pictures better than their own photographers’.  Finally, I decided to pursue my passion and I went to photography school.  I never looked back.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

My Gary Fong Lightsphere.  Lightroom 4, and my Canon camera.  

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
My Droid Bionic because I love Instagram.  I don’t really like to carry around a separate camera, I carry enough stuff around with me in my pocketbook !

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

I don’t think that it really impacts my business much.  I feel it’s the same way Turbo Tax impacted the accounting field.  Some people are going to do it themselves, and some people are going to understand what a professional brings to the table.  We do so much more that click a button.  We have to plan the shoot, organize it and direct a crew while under time constraints.  Those aren’t skills that an amateur with an iPhone can necessarily do and get great results.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013 ?

I would love to see the industry come up with creative solutions to the issues that photographers face today instead of complaining how much the industry has changed and how they wish how things used to be.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION: 
I have photographed jobs for Wella Hair Color, the United States Marine Corps and Microsoft as well as for many private individuals.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

The techniques I used to get this shot were fairly simple.  I went to the beach as the sun began to set.  The beach itself faces North so it gets a lovely cool north light at sunset.  I shot all available light, ISO 800 at 125 at f/8 with the 17-40 mm Canon L lens set at 17mm.  I did a color balance and auto tone in Lightroom 4, then used presets to bring in the contrast and color as well as used vignetting to give a spotlight type lighting.  I shot 5 angles of the building , all hand held and decided I liked the one the best.  I also cropped in it Lightroom to make it more of a panoramic shoot.   I stood on the beach for approximately 15 minutes before I decided it was too cold and I was done shooting.
The image I have chosen is called Beauty in Devastation, which is a series of photos that I created in the 2 weeks after Hurricane Sandy.

Growing up in New York City, the beach has always been a place of relaxation and spiritual renewal for me. When Hurricane Sandy came through and wreaked her havoc along the coast on Long Island, it was a heart breaking experience to see so much devastation. However, in the cold November autumn air, in spite of the destruction, there was something eminently beautiful about how our human made structures were bent and reshaped by the force of Nature. This body of work, taken in the Rockaways, Long Beach and Hampton Bays, are a meditation on how very fragile we are.

The photo is of the Beach Hut, which is a lively restaurant on Meschutt Beach on Peconic Bay.  It is a beach I frequent often because of it’s shallow, warm water perfect for swimming or sitting in an inflatable tube with a cheap novel.

FREE SHOUT OUT:
I love taking photos and directing video.  I have a really great team and shoots are pretty chill and a lot of fun.  

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To check out ALL of Michelle’s work 
please go to her website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

 

How’d You Get That Shot with Kevin Steele

A Spotlight Series About
The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.com

 

NAME:

Kevin Steele
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WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:

I shoot People in Motion: active lifestyle, travel and portraiture for advertising and editorial.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:

Life began in the darkroom every day after high school. Although I went to a university to study astronomy I never became an astronomer.  But I’ve been an engineer, author, climbing guide, and tech specialist before focusing full time on photography the past 7 years.  Photography had been on the side until word of mouth led to my first big location ad shoot.  Which fittingly enough is this photograph on Mt Rushmore.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:

White gaffer tape. Black coffee. The Nikon D4 and D800 with 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, 85 f/1.4 lenses most of the time.   When shooting motion I love using Pentax 6×7 lenses adapted for the Nikon, nice long manual focus throw, beautiful optics and the full frame 35 sensor uses only the sweet center spot of those medium format lenses.   And really my absolute favorite and sentimental tool is the Rollei SL66 with Zeiss lenses, alas it seldom gets out. It’s original owner, my Dad, handed it down over 20 years ago  – it’s a 46 year old beautiful piece of kit.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:

iPhone. I just always have it with me, great for scouting and snapshots.  I’m so bummed about Instagram – I’m about to bid them farewell as they’ve screwed up their terms of service.  I love the simplicity of it (I stick with one filter) and the creativity born of constraints.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?

A fellow photographer turned me onto Seth Godin’s post of the recent Christmas Eve: “True Professionals don’t fear amateurs”. In a nutshell professionals love it when passionate amateurs show up – it pushes us to higher levels. I think it’s great that everyone can create and share and film and edit and experiment.  Maybe it’s just capturing a retro snap of their friends or maybe it sparks entry into a creative field that we don’t even have a name for yet – everything moves forward.  I do feel that those pros in the middle that had satisfying careers for years can’t rest on their laurels, especially if they’re in client direct portrait, wedding or corporate work.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013:

I expect the tech will always move forward – better tools. I do like where we are right now and feel that we’ve come to where it really is almost good enough. Maybe the industry should take a break for a while and let us flesh out the craft of what’s in our lap.  But people never rest J.  On a recent shoot for Adobe I saw some amazingly talented digital artists stretching CS6 in ways I would not have imagined.  I think the business side will continue to evolve: agency Art Buyers and Art Directors are being hired by their clients: in-house work will expand as the ad side becomes less about a single campaign and more about a broad brush of digital, social media, print and viral campaigns.   Editorial is changing rapidly and favors the niche mag that has great content.  Publications that deliver only good-enough images, design, and story will find themselves behind. It doesn’t matter if it’s on paper or pixels – one doesn’t kill the other, the source material is what counts.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:

My favorite kind of shoot day is when we are all feeling the love.  The client, maybe an agency, definitely the crew, are all making it happen. I’ve had great shoots recently with FedEx, Adobe, Oakley and Polartec. On the editorial side – Runner’s World, Trail Runner, Men’s Journal, WebMD, Parade Mag. There are a few local clients that really get to benefit although my rates are a stretch up from the local norm.  I love shooting athletes of all ages. I love photographing people with passion.  Much of the local work doesn’t go in my portfolio but it keeps my chops up and is always fun.  The locals include Opera Santa Barbara, The SB Triathlon and California’s regional visitor’s bureaus.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:

The concept here was an iconic image that shows the monument with a unique viewpoint.  The client, CMC, manufactures and distributes equipment for the rescue industry: firefighters, police, SWAT, search and rescue teams.  Their customers get into some dramatic locations and each year CMC publishes a catalog with an epic cover shot of their gear in action.

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.com

The immediate issue was access: the client and ad agency worked well in advance, almost a year, to get permission from the Park Service and Homeland Security. We flew into Rapid City, South Dakota and spent three days on location shooting in early morning and late afternoon.

With a climbing background I’m very comfortable working at heights and on ropes. The models were actual Park Service rangers and although some may mistake the rangers for climbing the faces they are actually rappelling down  – part of their job is to inspect the cracks on the faces.  There’s a big one crossing Lincoln’s nose and in 1998 an instrument was installed to monitor the expansion and contraction of the crack with the seasons.

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.com

For this shot I’m standing on the tip of Jefferson’s nose, secured by a rope to my climbing harness, leaning over to frame Lincoln, the rangers and the landscape.   If you watch Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” you’ll see Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint drop down between Jefferson and Washington at the end of the film (they were actually on a replica built back at MGM’s studio).

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.comThe strenuous approach to the top of the heads was almost as exciting as being out on the granite faces. Step off the trail and over the “No Access” fence, up past security cameras and sensors, scramble behind the heads, past the large Secret Chamber which was envisioned as a “Hall of Records” and onto the top.  Ropes secured and harnesses checked, the rangers went up and down, moving across the faces as I shot from different vantages.  Changing lenses had to be done with care.

Mt Rushmore and men. © Kevin Steele / kevsteele.comThis was not the client’s first select. But as I looked through the edit again and again this was clearly the photograph that best represented the sublime feeling of being out on the tip of Jefferson’s nose with a view very seldom seen.

FREE SHOUT OUT:

Shout outs?  All the support from my wife Linda and boys Nico and Aidan. Mom and Dad. My rep Doug Truppe. And of course my interns and assistants Meg, Meagan, and Megan (thank god they’re spelled differently!), Karla, Jerry and Anna.  Those embarrassing light-test photos we’ll save till the next spotlight series…

 

 

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To check out ALL of Kevin’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today.

How’d You Get That Shot with Michel Leroy

 A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 


NAME:

Michel Leroy
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WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:
Portraits and large group ensembles

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:
I got started in photography for my high school newspaper and yearbook.  Then I got into the business of photography in college working for the Dayton Daily News.  Finally, I got into a career in photography after I arrived in New York assisting Gregory Heisler and a select group of very talented commercial photographers.

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:
Leatherman Skeletool (My absolute go to device)
Princeton Tec headlamp (Next to a Sharpie it’s the single most used item I own)
Bosch laser measure (My favorite gadget)

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
Canon G10 – because it’s always in my bag.  The best camera is the one you have with you at all times.

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?
There is a huge difference between everybody having a camera (iPhone) and being a professional photographer.  The idea of crowd sourcing good photography is a zero-sum gain, editing through all the not-so-great images is endless.  If you have hundreds of thousands of people with cameras there are going to be some good shots created for sure; it’s just statistics.

However, if a client wants a great image for their campaign what they really want is a guarantee that a fantastic image will be created on schedule and on budget.  Clients expect a return on their investment.  Only a professional photographer has the experience, skill and talent to “create” those kinds of images.  A professional also has a personal style and brings their own visual instincts to a project adding extra value to the final result that is greater than the some of its parts.

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH 2013:
I see a distinct return to the principal concept of photography; content.  The market has really shifted toward images that are creative and successful regardless of how they were created.

In the recent past a big part of professional photography was the closely guarded secret of craft.  The exact type of film, camera and f-Stop actually mattered if you wanted repeatable results.  Then everybody, myself included, went crazy over sub-menus, megapixels and RAW processors – for what?

Very few changes in the past one hundred and fifty years of the photographic process compare with the current technology revolution. The rate of change in our field has accelerated beyond anything previously experienced and remains on a fixed trajectory.  However, for the first time in years I see photographers comfortable enough with the tools of the digital age to create great images, regardless of how.  The legacy of photography is not tools but images.

I’m really excited about the future of our field in the near and long term.  Photographers are creating incredible images with point-n-shoots and $45,000 digital backs with equivalent emotional impact.  The photography industry has leveled the playing field in such a way that every photographer has the tools to express their own style – limited only by personal creativity.  With so much of the craft of photography supplanted by technology the moment has arrived for content to reign above all else.  Content is the future of photography.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOSING:

The creative team at Body and Pole reached out to me to photograph the rapidly growing roster of instructors for their 2012/2013 season.  The co-founders, Lian and Kyra, wanted an image that highlighted the incredible physical prowess of the instructors while remaining approachable.  They are top performers in the field and yet remain dedicated to a welcoming and nurturing atmosphere.  The large group image would find it’s way into print, marketing and web placements but also stand as a keystone 4×6 foot fine art gallery print mounted in the lounge of their new 5000 sq. ft. midtown mega studio.

After preproduction meetings with the creative team we created a mood board that ranged from highly staged sets to subtle arrangements with beautiful, directional studio lighting.  For most groups, props help the talent relax and become part of their environment.  However, in this case the strength of character and physical presence of the instructors is so dominant that we shifted from props to personality.  Each of the instructors looks like a statue – it was like doing a shoot in the Roman sculpture hall at the Met.

This section is where you take over. Format is free here for you to describe your image. Some ideas you can mention are:

Over my years in New York I have had the great fortune to work on some enormous productions involving tens or even hundreds of people for a single shot.  It’s intimidating the first few times and then the numbers become transparent and the project is all that matters; three or thirty it’s all the same.  The client expects the best – the stakes are high either way.

This is a good time to mention that this was shot in-camera, not a composite.  What fun would it be to shoot 17 people separately and composite them into a background?  Coordinating a group this size is no small task but the rewards far outpace the challenges.  Dancers thrive on the pressure of performing and feed off the energy that builds as the group takes the stage.  Directing a large group means there are interweaving moments when everything connects and those precious seconds are when the magic happens.

There is a wonderful quote by Yousuf Karsh that best describes this singular moment: The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world.

The technical aspects of creating a group shot of this scale are the kind of problems that I relish.  When you understand the principals of studio lighting you can scale them to fit any group. However, when you are scaling the light to cover a 30’ stage with flawless, even lighting from left to the right your lights needs to be very large and very powerful.  For this I rely on a really talented and trusted lighting director who I have collaborated with for years to make sure that the crew has enough lights, grip and power to make it work.

For this shot I scouted the Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo a week in advance for a better idea of what we were getting into. The setup took a full 6 hours while the shoot itself was over in just thirty minutes.  We were wrapped and out the door before we hit O/T at 8 hours.

FREE SHOUT OUT:
The success of this group shot is the cumulative effort of everybody involved.  Special thanks to all the stylists and makeup artists who worked tirelessly to highlight the very best of the entire Body & Pole team.

Body & Pole Dance Studio – Client
Michel Leroy – Photographer
Lian Tal – Art Director
Kyra Johannesen – Choreographer
Kyle McBeth – Photo Shoot Producer
Jonathan Orenstein – Lighting Director
Brian Bloom – First Assistant
Keziban Berry – Second Assistant
Linn Edwards of Feather Creative – Retouching

(L-R): Tiffany, Rica, Marlo, Issac, Kelly, Kat, Kyra, Steven, Michelle, Tracee, Meritza, Brooklyn, Roland, Olga, Rebecca, Lian and Lauren.

 

To check out ALL of Michel’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today at: hello@iheartmrktg.com 

How’d You Get That Shot with Cristopher Lapp

A Spotlight Series About The Technique Of Photographic Imagery by Photographers For Photography!

 

NAME:
Cristopher Lapp
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WHAT IS YOUR SPECIALTY:
Celebrity and Fashion

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS:
My dad had a Konica 35MM that I used to take pictures of the neighborhood kids. At 7 years old, I didn’t know I needed film!

FAVORITE TOOLS FOR YOUR TRADE:
Actually, it’s my camera’s strap. Having an extra cardholder on the strap let’s me work all day without slowing down.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “ON THE GO” CAMERA TO SHOOT WITH AND WHY:
I use my iPhone’s camera a lot. It is always with me, and oh yah, it’s a phone too!

WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE PHOTOGRAPHIC REVALATION GOING ON OUT THERE WHERE EVERYONE HAS A CAMERA?
What an amazing time in photography! What was once an art form seems to becoming a commodity, and where we end up is anyone’s guess. However, I do feel it is essential to know your value and charge for it! Remember, the next time some asks for a ‘freebie’ or a silly price, what’s the first thing they will grab when the house burns down, the pictures! 

WHAT EXPECTATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHY INDUSTRY AS WE APPROACH IN 2013:
My hope is that the buyers will continue to understand that this is a business and an industry. As photographers, it is our job to constantly educate them on the cost of services and overall quality of image making.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS THAT GET TO BENEFIT FROM YOUR CREATIVE EXPERTISE AND PASSION:
A smart photographer never talks about his or her client list. However, it is safe to say the higher you reach, the better the clients will be.

TELL EVERYONE ABOUT THE IMAGE YOU ARE CHOOSING:
I like these desert images since they show a ton of moving parts in front of and behind the camera. They were for an Italian department store and use a variety of designers and models all in motion. It was shot using natural lighting and on location. Tents, trucks, RVs, generators and gallons of sunscreen were involved. 20 people needed to be feed and hydrated for 20+ hours. Bathrooms and changing rooms were also brought in … no easy task. Not to mention the full-time job of keeping the dust off of everything, including my computer and card readers.

FREE SHOUT OUT:

 

 

To check out ALL of Cris’s work 
please go to his website! If you are
a professional photographer or know
of one that should be in this series
please email us today at: hello@iheartmrktg.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Rule Your Marketing Track…. Don’t Run Around It Aimlessly

 STAY ON TRACK EASILY BY FOLLOWING THIS… 

Many business owners often find the task of marketing daunting. Staying on track with your plan can be a challenge and often takes a single person to keep on track with the plan throughout the year. If you are a small business owner and do not have the luxury of an assistant or a full marketing department don’t worry, staying on track can be easily obtained by following this short list:  

1. Keep It In Your Face. Never file your marketing plan away in a file cabinet. Keeping your plan posted on your wall or board will allow it to be a constant reminder. If your plan is wordy get creative and make a nice visual chart that will enhance your decor!

2. Organize By Time Horizon. Divide your marketing plan into months. Following a timeline is often the best way to stay on track. More important put your monthly reminders into your electronic calendar to act as a back up. When you schedule meetings and appointments you will get reminders of things to do. For help with setting up your marketing plan follow our Roadmap of Marketing directions here

3. Plan and Prioritize Special Promotions. If you are like many small businesses you have special promotions or advertisements that need to go out at specific times. These are most often a greater part of your marketing budget. Keeping close track of these is crucial to your success. If your piece is not planned already leave time in your schedule for an ample planning process. 

4. Monthly Reviews.  Your marketing goals are like targets. Reviewing monthly to make sure all your targets have been met can be very rewarding. Proving you can stay on track and follow your marketing plan successfully will build confidence in this segment of your business!

5. Estimate Your Time Spent. Estimating your time spent on all of your marketing tasks will allow you to plan for next years marketing. Your business grows year after year. Keeping track of time spent on marketing is a great way to see what tasks you will want to delegate later. Examples of good things to track is:

  • How many hours do you spend on specific marketing activities?
  • What are the three main marketing activities where you spend the most time?
  • How many hours each week do you spend on marketing? Be specific: mailing, addressing, setting up, dealing with designers…

You’ll likely find that you are spending half your time on your highest marketing priorities. Some business owners haven’t carefully thought about their targets, and often neglect important marketing tasks until it becomes a crisis, demanding their full attention.

Marketing can be easy and fun when planned around your main business activities. Remember a solid, successful campaign must be consistent and followed throughout the life-span of the original plan. If you cannot stick to a full year of marketing it may be time to revise your budget and bring help in immediately. There are plenty of resources at your local chapters of APA, ASMP, ASPP, and PPA. Remember to utilize your core support groups for advice, referrals, and insight on steps to follow with the most success!

For assistance with your marketing and staying on track contact iHeart Marketing or book your FREE no-obligation consultation today!

Feeling Inspired…. or NOT?

30 Ways

To Keep Your Creative Inspiration Flowing

How to keep up with inspiration is quite a chore when you are a small business owner. Adding into the mix that you are a creative business owner could almost be a recipe for disaster. What are some sure fire ways to keep yourself inspired even when your inspiration “bank” is running on low?

  1. Get off that high horse – don’t take yourself SO serious
    Half of our battle is usually within ourselves. Laughing at ourselves is great.
  2. Make a lunch date
    Whether you call up a friend you haven’t seen in awhile or take your honey out to break up the day inspiration can be found
  3. Dance like there’s nobody watching
    Not only is this in many quotes and well known inspirational sayings but it works… I do mine to Cake!
  4. Go to the aquarium
    There is beauty in sea life that can be magical
  5.  Keep an electronic notepad with you at all times
    I use evernote and it rocks! Ideas, voice notes, images, everything!
  6. Google “Get Inspired”
    Let’s face it we are not alone in any phase of life. If you’re feeling something chances are someone else has been there and you can find it on the www.
  7. Cloud watch…
    Such an under rated relaxing past time, what do you see!
  8. Read a good book
    A good book not only offers an escape from reality but it exercises  your brain
  9. Wake with the sunrise
    This is very reminiscent of a new beginning. The amazing thing…. it happens everyday!
  10. Pop some corn with that movie
    Psychological sensors in your brain will relate the smell of pop corn with fun, the movie is a bonus of a momentary lapse of reality for the length of the movie.
  11. Stretch your muscles
    Stretching your muscles will get the blood flowing to your brain and your body
  12. Take a midday stroll
    There are few words that describe leaving the phones behind and strolling midday, even if it is only for a half hour
  13. Create your own “project” that means nothing to anyone else but YOU!
    Something as simple as shooting something you love everyday keeps inspiration flowing
  14. Sing your favorite song… even if you’re tone deaf
    Music speaks a universal language, we all know it. No matter what your taste it’s easy to be inspired by singing along.
  15. Camp in your backyard and watch the stars
    Add the kids for an added lifetime memory!
  16. Un-clutter your workspace
    Lets face it if the gutters on your house are filled with clutter nothing drains, your office should flow the same way.
  17. Have a deep conversation with a friend
    I’ve been blessed with many friends that can talk about theories and the meaning of life. It never fails to inspire!
  18. Keep those visuals of your loved ones close
    Whether it’s a picture on the dash of your car or a simple photo key chain being reminded we are surrounded by love inspires
  19. Treat yourself to a berry filled smoothie
    Not only do antioxidants get your blood flowing but they are like a natural workout for your brain.
  20. Go cut the lawn
    Nothing like the smell of fresh cut grass to inspire something fresh!
  21. Listen to a friend in need
    Sometimes hearing others problems makes ours seems foolishly simple.
  22. Get to the beach
    Crashing waves, misting salt water, sand in your toes… I think my brain just left me at my laptop!
  23. Inspire someone else
    I love inspiring others, it’s like my own personal guarantee  that inspiration makes the world go round.
  24. Get involved with your community
    Walk a dog, be a big brother, touching the lives of others will reward your inspiration.
  25. Take your child to the park (and get on the swings with them!)
    Something about giggles and swings that is just contagiously inspiring!
  26. Keep a “To-Do” list
    Checking off the items on this list acts as positive reinforcement.
  27. Basque in the sun
    The warmth and light of the sun really do create happiness. Happy people inspire, it’s a fact!
  28. Take a long, hot, fully decorated bath (candles and aromatherapy do wonders)
    Even if you’re a man you know ya wanna be lavished in lushness.
  29. People watch at your local park
    We are the most amazingly, creatively, inspiring breed out there… other than dogs maybe?
  30. Visualize your final goal often
    Keeping your eye on the prize is always motivating and inspiring. 
Now there you have it, 30 ways to stay inspired. Try any of these to get out of that non-inspiration rut. I’m sure there is something new on the list you haven’t tried. If you know of some fresh ideas you don’t see, please share them with us!
~ Until we meet again, stay inspired, or better yet, inspire someone else!