I had the privilege of attending "Come Together: An Evening with Katelyn James and Amy & Jordan" last month and it was a wonderful experience! Katelyn James and Amy and Jordan are both very successful and inspiration wedding photographers. I have to admit, I was a little starstruck because I've been following Katelyn James for about 5 years and I admire her so much! It has been such a joy to watch her business continue to grow and develop! I have been a frequent visitor of her blog over the years and I have learned SO much from her! If you're a photographer or in the wedding industry (or you just like looking at pretty pictures), I highly encourage you to check her blog out. I discovered Amy and Jordan's blog about six months ago and I have also really benefited from some of their blog series for photographers.
The topics covered in "Come Together" were social media and blogging. I learned SO much more than that though! I think the thing I enjoyed most was hearing the heart behind why Amy and Jordan and Katelyn James do what they do. They are all Christians, and ultimately their first priority is to glorify God through their businesses and to love and serve their clients! That is my mission as well and so that purpose really spoke to me and challenged me.
Here are 5 of my biggest takeaways from "Come Together:"
1. Don't Grow for Your Own Glory
This actually was one of the most encouraging reminders to me! I was reminded of the importance of growing my business to glorify Christ and not to glorify my own name. Katelyn was very vulnerable and shared that even with how successful she's been, she still doesn't feel like she has "arrived" and she struggles with wanting more or comparing herself to other creatives. Wow! From my perspective, Katelyn is definition of what it means to be successful as a wedding photographer. So, to hear those words and that vulnerability from her was a great reminder that my ultimate joy and satisfaction can never been in how successful my business is or all that I've accomplished. It's also SO easy for me to compare myself to others in my industry and wish that I was where they are, but I need to look to Christ for joy and not compare because "Comparison is the thief of all joy." I want people to look at me and my business and to know that first and foremost, I do all that I do to glorify Christ and not myself!
2. Love and Serve Your Clients
I was really encouraged and challenged by some of the ways that Amy and Jordan and Katelyn shared that they love on and serve their clients. For them, wedding photography isn't just a business or a way to make money, it's a way to really invest into the lives of people! As wedding photographers, we really do have the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives by the way we connect with, love, and serve them! What a privilege! In addition, even though we live in such a technological age, Amy and Jordan shared that only 7% of referrals come from online. Where do the other 93% come from? They come from word of mouth referrals and what people say about you in person. So we need to love and serve people in such a way that we make a difference in their lives and we get them talking about us to their friends and family.
3. Blogging is A Secret Weapon
Katelyn shared about how her business basically started with her blog in her dorm room. It's been amazing to see how her blog really has spearheaded her success in the industry and how she began blogging regularly before it was common to do so. I really enjoy blogging but I've found that it is extremely hard to stay consistent with it because it takes a lot of time and thought and sometimes it can feel like no one really cares or is even reading your blog. However, Katelyn reminded us that it takes months to gain momentum and a long period of consistency before people really begin to trust you and to come back to your blog regularly. When you do gain that momentum and audience, it can make a huge difference in your business success!
4. Blogging is An Automatic Marketing Strategy
Katelyn explained that the week after a wedding is the "golden hour of impact." 3-5 days after a wedding has happened, people are excited about it and they want to see the images. After 2+ weeks, guests are less excited to see images and vendors have already moved on to the next wedding. She explained that blogging just a few days after a wedding is a way to capitalize on the excitement and to get people sharing your images. In addition, it is very important to email vendors the link to your blog so that they can publicize it. The more publicity and shares your blog gets, the more potential clients you will receive!
5. Blogging is a Community Creator
When you have a blog, you're giving people a home base to "attract your ideal tribe." Katelyn explained that you attract your tribe (or the type of prospective clients you want) through your voice and your content. The more you share your voice, people will either be attracted to or repelled by you and that's what you want to happen! You don't want to attract every person to you, just the people that love you and love what you do and make up your ideal client! In addition, Katelyn explained that community comes through consistency and clear leadership. When people know what to expect and they know you're going to be consistent, they will come to trust you and listen to you. In addition, you can't impact people's lives if you don't let them into yours! Vulnerability is key!
I'm very thankful for the opportunity I had to attend "Come Together" and to learn from some of my favorite photographers! I hope this post helped you in some way! Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have questions or feedback!