Business

Styled Stock Photos For Business

7 FREE Styled Stock Photos for Your Blog & Biz

Styled Stock Photos for Business

The Palm Dreams Styled Stock Photos Etsy shop was created because I wanted to have more time to spend being creative.

What it has grown into is a shop to help other creatives showcase their own business.

There is so much we have to focus on as business owners, and I don’t think worrying about styled stock photos for your business should be one of them.

Get your free styled photos below.


7 FREE  Styled Stock Photos for Your Biz & Blog

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The 5 Business Tools I Can’t Work Without

5 Business Tools I can't Live without

When I was starting out with my photography I had no idea what business tools I should use.  I wasn’t sure what I needed for my business, which was so frustrating.  I felt like everywhere I looked people, with already successful businesses, were talking about how systems are so important.

I read The E-Myth Revisited, and it talked a lot about how businesses need systems to be successful.

So I get it.

I can take a hint.

Systems are crucial to making a business run (and making my family run ;) but I couldn’t do it without the awesome business tools that I use daily.

I’ve talked a lot about how I plan and how I keep up with my goals, but I haven’t shared the tools I use to get it all done.  These 5 programs, tools, and apps are used every day in my business.

THE 5 BUSINESS TOOLS I USE IN MY BUSINESS

ORGANIZATION

Google Docs

Google Docs are the best!  I mean seriously the absolute bestest ;)  Every single piece of written content I create for my business is brainstormed, outlined, drafted and finished in google docs.  At one point I just saved everything to Dropbox, which was ok.  It got the job done, but google docs take it to a whole other level.  I love them because it simplified the process for me.  I don’t have to make sure that I’m saving anything to any where because it’s already saved.  I use the history function to look at different versions of my draft.  The bonus feature of this tool is that I can access it and edit any where I am.  

Asana

This program is a life saver.  Seriously Asana is a business tool powerhouse!  I know lots of people love trello, but I can’t really make much comparison because I only tried trello for about two seconds.  What I can say is that I love Asana!  

I have projects set up like they’re my overarching categories.  I then label the tasks in Asana as my projects.  I can create the subtasks as each of the steps in the project.  I also have it set up with my editorial calendar for my blog.  It makes things much easier because I check it for what posts to work on each week.  All my tasks that need to get done each week are posted in here as welll.  I plan my whole week at the beginning of the week so that I have an idea for when things need to be completed.

 

BUSINESS

17Hats

Ok 17Hats is my client management bff.  I know some people like to use Asana for project management and I do for running the structure of business.  17Hats is what makes my client management flow.  I love it for the way workflows streamline the systems for new clients.  I can set up a workflow template for all the types of client work and then when that client comes in I can initiate that template and all the guesswork is taken out.

It also ensures that each of my clients get the same client experience because it’s systemized and written out and is triggered when a couple decides to book my services.  I’m completely obsessed with the simplicity of this once I started.

I also use 17Hats for invoicing.  I can send clients quick price lists and then set up an invoice.  This really is my client bestie.  Everything is in one place.

Converkit

I got Convertkit as a way to keep in touch with people through email.  I get to keep in touch and share news about new posts, what’s happening the business or when sales happen.  I also love that I have the potential to break out groups based on their interest.  

I currently have a lot going on on here on the blog.  I share about running my business, weddings and couples, and all about the stock shop.  When I have people signed up based on their interests then they get the emails they want.This way people who are only interested in weddings are hearing about running a business and the benefits of stock photos.

I know there’s so much that I can do with it, but I’m still learning all the features.  Right now it mostly is just a way to communicate.  I’m working on a FREE EMAIL Course about building your brand photos for your biz.  Go here to be the first to get it when it is available.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Adobe Photographer

Lightroom makes my life so much easier.  I could not shoot weddings without Lightroom.  There was a day (really long ago) when I edited weddings in Lightroom.  I think this was a time in my life when I wanted to spend all my time at the computer.  I joke.  Really though Lightroom is a beast and I love it.  I use Lightroom to make all of my blog graphics for my website.  I also use both programs when I’m editing my all of my stock photos!  I use Lightroom to edit and photoshop to get the photos ready for the Palm Dreams styled stock photos.

***This post does have affiliate links that pays me a small amount at no additional cost to you.  The good news is I only become an affiliate for things that I absolutely love.

 


The Business Tool Box

Was this short list not enough?!   Get my business toolbox. below

Get the free List of EVERY tool, app or program I use in my business and how I use it!

3 Ways To Do a Goal Check-in to Help Grow Your Business

3 Ways To Do a Goal Checkin to Grow Your Business

Reading is one of my favorite things to do.  I have to legit make time for it because with kiddos business and family it can get kind of difficult to find the time but I make it happen.  

I recently read the 12 Week Year and it totally changed how I looked at goal setting.

The basic premise is if you treat your goal setting process like something that happens in 12 week increments instead of once a year then you will achieve more of your goals each year.  The idea is that you will feel the same urgency you feel towards the end of the year, and you will get stuff done.

It’s amazing what a little urgency can do for goal setting.  I’ve used tools like Lara Casey’s Powersheets before and I love to use my Day Designer to brainstorm my daily and weekly planning, but reading the 12 Week Year just gave me so much more clarity around goals.  I loved doing the goal setting in each of the other tools, but I really like to know the why behind a system.  Reading the 12 Week Year gave me the why.

Before you can put these checks into place you need to know what your goals are in your business.  If you’re still trying to plan out your goals check out this post it has free quick planning guide so you can focus on what your goals should be based on for your business.  

The other key factor in goal setting is making sure you’re setting SMART goals.  I know this is goal setting 101, but it’s crucial.  The quick breakdown of a SMART goal is it’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Time based.  

When you have your goal set then you want to write down all the things you can do to reach your goals.

Then write out all your tactics to reach your goals.   Once you’ve done goal setting and planned how you can reach the goal you’re ready to start tracking your progress.  Here are three ways to do a goal checkup.

Schedule in Personal Goal Checks

One of the first ways to track your progress towards your goals is to make sure you’ve set a plan of when you’re going to check in.  I like to check in weekly and monthly.  

I spend time planning out my week most Sunday’s.  This allows me to figure out my life and business priorities for the week.  I do a weekly check-up on my goals when I’m planning for my next week.

If this is already starting to seem like a lot of steps don’t worry I made a quick checklist for you (Grab it below).

Next I look at all the tactics I wanted to get done for that week and see if anything still needs to get done.  If so I plan how it will fit into the next week.

By checking in on my weekly completion progress I know if I’m starting to get closer to my bigger goal.  This also works for projects that I need to get done. These weekly checks are built into the 12 Week Year plan.

I also do monthly checks to look at the overall bigger picture.  I look to find out stats that either show progress to my goals or show that it’s not working.  If there’s not a positive trend towards my goal then I know I need to rethink some of the things I’m doing.

If you want to have each of these steps laid out for you, don’t forget to grab the quick checklist that takes you through the steps of doing your own personal check-in system in your business.

Meeting in a Mastermind

Another way to hold yourself accountable to your goals is to meet in a mastermind.  

When you meet in a mastermind there are other people who know what you’re working towards and what you are doing to get there.  This can be so helpful to making growth in your business.  

When you join a mastermind you get to part of a community of other focused business owners.  Each member is also trying to drive their business forward.

It can be powerful to talk about what you want to accomplish.  It can also continue to keep you excited about what you want to get done in your business.

Having someone else who cares about your business and growth can feel amazing because then you’re not alone as a solopreneur.  They’ll cheer you on and help you.

There’s also the benefit of shared knowledge.  Each person has a different skill sets that make them unique, and when you’re in a group where everyone wants you to be successful people are willing to help you achieve your goals.  You’ll still have to do the work but maybe you will get there a little quicker.

I currently virtually meet with one of my biz friends and it is everything.  We discuss our goals, and then we discuss what we plan to do to get there.  The next time we meet we can discuss how it went, and share anything we feel we need change.  We also send each other little encouraging reminders to get it done.

If you’re looking for a mastermind the Little Black Desk Society fosters an amazing community of women.  The facebook community is open to everyone, but the masterminds open quarterly.  I have found so much value in being a part of this facebook community.  It’s always been amazing to be around other women who want to support each other.

Pay for a Coach

The third thing you could do to set up biz checkpoints would be to get a coach.  

This I believe is similar as getting into a mastermind but there’s more concentrated time spent on you and your biz.  It is a financial investment, which can sometimes be more motivating to get work done because you don’t want to waste your investment.

I haven’t hired a coach yet because I think one of the most important things you can do when getting a coach is to decide what you need and want from your coaching experience.

There are so many great coaches out there.  You just need to find the right coach for you.  Do you need to work on your sales then maybe you need a sales coach.  Do you need to work on your systems, then maybe you need a coach who specializes in organization.  Do you need to work on your mindset then maybe you need a coach who specializes in mindset work.  

You just need to figure out what will push your business forward.

Don’t forget to grab your checklist below then let me know how you track your progress towards your goals.

***There are some affiliate links in this post, but I only share products that I absolutely love


Get your FREE Checklist to Create Your Goal Check-in

How to Make Time for Creativity

How to Make Time for Creativity

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Use Time Blocking

Time blocking is a magical part of time management for me.  I break my day into blocks of times to focus on certain activities.  For example I don’t check my email all throughout the day.    

When I block out my time at the beginning of the week everything flows a bit better.  I have a template for what most weeks look like that I start from then I build out based on that.  

I schedule blocks of time for working in my business such as client work, writing blog posts, or photographing stock photos.  I also schedule time for working on my business such as looking at my progress towards my goals, creating my new couples guide (coming soon), or updating my website.

Weeks where I work from this plan from the beginning I get twice as much work done.  I’m not wondering what I need to get done throughout the week because it’s already been planned.  If you’re looking for ways to make your weeks run smoother than give time blocking a try.  Decide how you’re going to use your time and be strategic.  

Batch Activities

Do the same activities together.  Ok I already talked about how my blocks of time are structured and batching is how I work within a block of time.  This is what makes me get shtuff done.  

I think batching can be done many different ways.  Some people do themed days.  So Tuesday could be devoted completely to all things social media.  Planning social media posts,

Doing similar business tasks like writing blog posts or preparing blog images together helps me knock out a bunch of work at the same time.  It also keeps my brain on track.  I talk a little bit about why I switched to batching in this post (enter planning post).

Schedule It

This might be obvious after I said I do time blocking and batching, but the next thing I do is I make time for it by putting it into my schedule.  If I don’t have it in my schedule that I’ll make time for being creative then it really doesn’t happen.  

I have to build the time into my schedule.  I’m so busy with all the things that make things move that if I do not put it into my schedule I won’t find the time to get done.  Then once it’s in the schedule I have to get serious about letting me have that space.  Since there are so many things that I need to get done, it can seem like an unnecessary luxury to allow myself the time, but it is so essential.  So I make the time and then hold those times.

Be Prepared

Most things flow best when you’re prepared.  Right?  Isn’t that why Scouts follow that rule.  

I just mean if you want to be able to find time to be creative make sure you already have the supplies you need.  If you want to paint have paints.  If you want to take pictures have items or people to photograph.  If you want to knit have needles.  If you want to write have your journal or computer or typewriter ;) ready.  

This will make it so much easier for you.  Once your time comes you can use that time to play in your creativity.

Make Mental Space

This idea might be a little more woo woo than the other practical ideas above, but I think meditating and journaling really help create space.  When you have time to get thoughts out and clear your mind I believe it completely leaves you open to more creativity.

I have read so many reasons why both activities are beneficial to anyone’s well being but I’ll just share why it’s helpful for me.  If I give myself the actual time to get stuff done, but I’m more concerned about all the things, then it defeats the purpose.  I feel like it gives me more freedom.

My Own Creativity

These were the exact strategies I used to make time for creating my Etsy stock photo shop Palm Dreams.  It was more of a passion project than necessary work.  I had to take make room for it in order to make it happen.  I had to batch tasks to plan it out. I got all of the supplies I was going to use all at once so I could shoot all at one time.

Bonus – Reading

I think one of the best ways to pull on my creativity is through the reading I do.  Two great books that have inspired the creativity in me are Big Magic  and The Artists Way.


Need FREE Stock Photos to Help You Save Time?

FREE Stock Photos to Save You Time in Your Biz

Definitely get on the LIST so you can get access to some FREE stock photos to get you started and save time in your business and life.

 

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