How to Scale Your Business as a Photographer

Scaling your business could be confusing. You might want to add a new offer to your business, want to work less while growing your business, and at the same time make more income. But you don’t know when to start as it all feels so confusing to you. 

There are a lot of things that come from the phrase, “scaling your business,” and what the phrase could mean. We’re going to cover all that concerns scaling your business, making the right decisions to uplevel, and moving your business forward with Danielle Langton.

About Danielle Langton

Danielle started her career in the corporate industry. She went into corporate entrepreneurship which was a scary but worthwhile journey. She spent the beginning of her career at the HJ Heinz Company, working with huge brands and getting those off the ground with sales operations. Then she went to a tech startup where she was working with brands and retailers. 

Throughout her entire corporate career, she was always focused on sales and strategy. So after years of traveling and years of managing an awesome team and just reporting to other people, she decided that if you have an itch to be an entrepreneur, it never really goes away until you dig in and listen to it. So back in 2019, she decided that she was going to retire from the corporate world and build something of hers with the knowledge gained from the corporate world. 

In 2019 she took her skill set and her experience and decided that she would work primarily with female entrepreneurs in helping them with sales and strategy, launching and having the best businesses that allow them to be profitable. That has been the journey for Danielle.

Finding your zone of genius

People who are potentially in corporate and are looking to go into entrepreneurship or people in corporate who want to start something on the side, finding your genius is quite helpful for new-stage entrepreneurs. What finding your genius means is, what are you good at

What do people consider you an expert in? Are people coming to you for something specific? What do you not know you’re good at but when people are stuck, they’re calling you and texting you for? That is your zone of genius and you might not even know it. 

If you don’t know it you could ask five of your colleagues or five of your friends or five of your family members, really what you’re good at.  It’s interesting but that’s essentially what your zone of genius is and that can adapt to your business. As a business owner, you’ll continue to evolve, so whatever it is right now is essentially what you need to do in your business for three to five or ten years.

Suggestions to find a zone of genius

The good news is that every person has an area of expertise so if you’re sitting there thinking there’s nothing you’re good at, know that you are probably good at multiple things. First of all, do your inventory of things that light you up and you enjoy doing. 

Then go and ask some people that are close to you. Ask your colleagues and friends and family members, ‘What do you think I’m good at?’ or “Whenever you’re stuck on something, what do you come to me for? What makes you pick up the phone or come to my office? What are those topics or areas you think of when you think of me?”

So based on your list and what you gather from others, there would be some similarities and some crossovers. That will start guiding you in the right direction. 

Danielle’s zone of genius was relationships and strategic planning. As she started her consulting business, the business evolved and where she found herself leaning into helping women in their finances. So not only making more money but how do you keep more money? How do we solve our money mindset? And when she thinks about where she came from and how she was raised and how she feels about money, it gets interesting to watch it come full circle.

Scarcity money mindset

Where the scarcity mindset comes from is given her corporate experience, Danielle was always chasing the dollar, so she always focused on title and money. When she accomplished all of that, she felt a little bit empty. She felt like there’s got to be more. 

That was when she decided she would trade in the money and the titles because what she valued about money and what it represents is success in her life: freedom and autonomy. So success is not just by what’s in the bank account but it’s how much time you have to spend with your family. 

For someone that is potentially either in corporate or their businesses are a little stuck or maybe they feel they’re living paycheck to paycheck, the first is to get clear on what money means to you. You may be striving to make more money and find different opportunities to bring more money into your business and life. So it requires getting clear on what money means to you. Once you get clear on that it becomes much easier in life.

So sit down and say if you were to double your income, if you were to have no debt, if you were to have overflowing abundance, what would they mean for your life? What do you value? Be interested to see what comes up. Is it freedom? Flexibility? Joy? Or confidence? What is it that you’re working towards?

Move from the mindset of forcing things and convincing people to pay you or give you money and just sit back and take an introspection on yourself and business progress and what money means to you.

What to do with slow seasons

Although it’s easier said than done but in low seasons in entrepreneurship, there are ebbs and flows. There are a lot of trials and errors and this sums up what entrepreneurship is, so low seasons are happening for a reason. 

It depends on what you want to do with it and how you want to look at it because these seasons are inevitable, they’re going to happen. It gets so easy to let impostor syndrome creep in and that could affect you and make you want to throw in the towel or feel like you completely need to redo your whole business. 

You might feel you’re doing everything wrong but sometimes it’s a case of asking what areas you can fix. Sometimes you just need to rest or do some rebuilding.

Sometimes you just need to slow down and be with yourself for a little bit to where you just live your life creatively and enjoy some freedom. It all comes down to what you are learning from your slow season and how you are continuing to move forward.

Signs that it’s time to scale

Scaling looks different for everyone, not everyone wants to make millions of dollars. Not everyone wants to manage a team of 10. Not everyone wants to have ten different ways to work with them. So scaling comes down to what it looks like for you. What will make you happy?

If it comes down to looking in your business and you’ve got a solid revenue coming from whether it’s products or services, and you’re getting to a point in which you’re not going to be able to serve those clients at the best level, you’ve got so much demand. People want to hire you and buy from you, and you can’t fully serve everyone, then that’s your first cue to hire your first person. 

Your second person to come, you ask how they are going to help grow the business? Like what you’d do for a return on investment or to just get work off your plate. It’s twofold. There are people that you can bring into your business that you can offload work on to and then there are people ideally that you can bring into your business where if they’re doing a kind of work, you should be able to double or triple your revenue.

Adding income

Whatever the goal, the same thing goes with whether it’s adding new pricing or new products to your business. If you’ve got something that’s working well and your clients are asking for something else in addition to that, a way to scale is to build out your offer suite. 

It comes to what scaling means to you and then you can take those steps to shift the business forward. It doesn’t always necessarily mean you need to sell more or hire more people or need to be doing more work. 

There are so many ways you can scale your business. Maybe you start scaling your business in one direction or you decide that is not what you want to do or you put an offer out there, and it feels like the right thing but you don’t want to relaunch that. Maybe that didn’t sell well or you bring someone on your team and they aren’t a good fit. 

You should know that scaling is essentially an evolution and will continue to take different iterations. So know that it’s not a perfect plan, with scaling you have to give yourself grace because there’s so much trial and error when it comes to growing a business.

Embracing being the CEO of your business

If you’re new, know that becoming an entrepreneur will challenge you in so many different ways. So if you’re not continuously learning about yourself or learning different ways that you can grow your business or grow as a person, you will constantly feel like you’re not doing enough. 

What makes people successful in entrepreneurship is the personal development side of things, so make sure you’re investing in yourself, and success leaves clues. Find people and align yourself with people that are doing great work. Learn from those people because those are the first people that are going to lift you whenever things get quiet or slow you when you’re going on the roller coaster of entrepreneurship. 

Embracing being the CEO is like putting on numerous hats, especially in the early stages of entrepreneurship. It’s hard because you’ve got to be the visionary and the doer and everything else. As your business grows you’re able to bring on more people. You can then step into the CEO role. That’s when you know that mindset work is important because you’ll be challenged every single day.

Biggest lessons in the business journey

One of the biggest lessons is how important your resiliency and consistency are. The roller coaster of entrepreneurship is that it tests how resilient and how good you are at what you do and just how willing you are to show back up even when things feel like the sky is falling. Because you can go from your best month or best year to crickets. 

You’re consistently being tested because you’re constantly evolving and your business is constantly evolving. Entrepreneurs and other people can give themselves that flexibility to know that it’s okay. And that’s healthy. 

 You want to be growing and changing and accepting would make a lot of pressure being lifted off your shoulders and you don’t feel like you’re failing.  Instead of feeling like a failure, put into the universe what you want. Failure allows you time to focus, stop forcing things, chasing the dollar, etc. So Danielle’s biggest lesson in this business is you can throw as much as you want at the wall. The right stuff will stick at the right time.

Final advice

Whether you’re in corporate or entrepreneurship, the importance of working in your   money mindset will continue to dictate your life and lifestyle. The more familiar you get with your numbers, the more you’re allowing yourself to grow in either your corporate or entrepreneurship world. The more we talk about money the more open we are about our money habits and mindset. 

The biggest mistake with entrepreneurs is that they don’t know their numbers. They’re not paying themselves or their businesses are essentially in debt. That’s why we need to shine a light on our money conversations.

Danielle has an email list and a text list and people always find it funny that writing her emails and texts are her favorite thing to do. She loves writing those emails and text messages to go out to her lists. She loves to host a Mastermind and they host two retreats per year and those are her absolute favorite to plan. 

They’re in the middle of planning the September retreat in Austin and she could plan retreats all day long. She loves hosting. Those are the things that just light her up in her business and she loves going into quiet mode and planning.

Danielle Langton can be found on Instagram at @danielle_langton_ and her website is www.daniellelangton.com you can learn about her founders’ club and how they work with other women. 

You can also get on their text list, just text GROWTH to 5125482448  then you’ll get to see her Monday morning text messages!

Be sure to check out more Gold Biz Podcast episodes here!

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