Wow… is all I can say about Jasmine Star, the uber-amazing wedding photographer. I follow about 20 different blogs in my Google reader and typically have 700 unread posts. One of the few blogs I manage to read consistently (meaning: I make time for) is that of Jasmine Star’s… which is pretty huge because she writes beautiful funny pretty things… and, I tend to gravitate to the serious business-y types of reads. Not only is it loaded with her OUT of this WORLD photography, but Jasmine’s writing is funny witty smart creative inspiring touching lovely. So, wow. Read up on Jasmine and all of her amazing WOW-ness… and, when you are done here, go on over to her blog and indulge.
Owner, Jasmine Star Photography
Orange County, CA
What are some easy things that small business owners can do to boost their marketing?
BLOG. In any business, it’s important for clients to know who you are as a person, not just a business entity. I have come to realize that my clients aren’t booking me because they want a photographer, they’re booking me because they want ME as their photographer. And this just blows my mind! I know my blog has made my life and business intertwined and I attribute my growth and relevance entirely to it!
Do you have any cool goal-setting tips to share with us?
Since the beginning of my business, I’ve realized the importance of setting goals. How can I aim for the target if I don’t even know where the bulls-eye is located? When I started in 2006, I wrote my goals in a spiral bound notebook….these hopes and aspirations were also written on the tablet of my heart. I often dreamed of my business trajectory, but as 2009 began, I saw how far I had come in a few years. Of my many forlorn dreams, none of them compared to the reality of what my life had become. I still have such a very long way to go, but I’m so thankful to how far I’ve come.
The best advice I have is to keep a journal of your goals, so you have something to keep you accountable to what you want to achieve. And once you get there, showing the appropriate form of gratitude is awesome!
What do you find to be the biggest challenge as a business owner?
Trying to find a sense of balance between life and work is the hardest. I’ll be the first person to admit me and Balance are sometimes adversaries…and she’s given me a black eye from our brawls in the past. However, I try extraordinarily hard to keep life balanced by maintaining a very scheduled and organized lifestyle. JD sometimes refers to me as The Machine. As in, don’t get in my way because I may just RUN YOUR OVER WITH MY CALENDAR AND POST-IT NOTES. Monday through Friday are work days for me and I treat them as such, which means I wake up and start the work day as if I had any other job.
I will definitely close my computer at 6:30pm…most of the time. Yes, there are days when I need to cram work out for a deadline, but other than that, I try to keep the evenings for my family. I work long, hard hours, but I need to ensure I carve time to enjoy my evenings and just check out.
It’s of utmost importance to keep your loved ones in the forefront of your life and when I first started my business, I lost sight of this notion. I was buried in work, glued to my computer, and generally frustrated. The minute I started organizing my life, prioritizing my work, and outsourcing, I gained back everything I wanted: Freedom to choose the lifestyle I wanted. There are days when JD and I decide to take an extended lunch in Newport Beach or watch a matinee or simply sit in a park under a tree. Having structure provides me the luxury of looking at my week and knowing where I can splurge and skimp, and always keep my family first.
What book do you recommend to new photographers and/or wedding business owners that has inspired you?
Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People has made the biggest difference in my life. He talks –simply– about caring for people. And I mean genuinely caring for people as a component of your business and I couldn’t agree more. In his book, he states that a person will go farther in being genuinely interested in two other people, than trying to make 200 people interested in you. True that!
My husband was reading the book late one night and I stole it from him after reading over his shoulder for a few minutes! Best book ever.
If you could start your biz all over again, what would you do differently?
As cheesy as it sounds, I wish I had taken more risks. I was so worried of failing — and everyone knowing I had failed — that I moved slowly. Didn’t grow as fast as I could have if I just believed. The more risks you take, the faster you’ll grow.
Want more great reads? Check out our book list!
Is there someone that you think is AWESOME in the wedding industry? Tell us about’m!