I recently had the opportunity to speak for the first time at a creative conference and it was an experience worth sharing! The Graceful Gathering is a styled, boutique conference specializing in kindhearted education for wedding photographers. I think it goes without saying that it’s been a rough spring but I didn’t even realize just how much I needed a creative business pick me up until the conference. It was exactly what my creative heart needed and I can’t wait to share my top three takeaways and beautiful behind the scenes images with you!
It was obvious upon entering The Lake Erie Building in Cleveland, Ohio that our host Courtney Cannon and her team had dedicated a tremendous amount of time and effort into bringing this conference together. The decor was stunning and complimented the building beautifully, and of course the story is in the details that really brought it all together! As a photography conference it was naturally a photo worthy event and I couldn’t wait to pick up my camera and make the most of that early morning light gently peaking through the wall of industrial windows.
But decor aside, the speaker line-up truly stole the show. Courtney did a wonderful job of lining up a variety of conference speakers with topics ranging from time management, to Instagram engagement, using Pinterest for your blog, and my own topic, “Setting Yourself Up For Success With An Editing Workflow”. While each speaker shared such valuable information, I’m going to briefly touch on my top three takeaways from the weekend.
CLIENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
I’m going to share a potentially surprising decision, but as soon as I got home from the conference I jumped ship from Dubsado to Pixifi for my business! I know, I know, I know. There are so many Dubsado supporters in the creative world, and it’s a really wonderful CRM, I’ve just reached a point where it’s seems to be working against me rather than for me. Loren of Loren Jackson Photography gave us all something to consider as she talked about how time management and proper systems helped grow her business and allowed her room to work on the things in her business that matter most!
Listening to all of the amazing workflows she has built into this program had me so jealous, I knew I had to make the switch . Of course, having Pixifi’s creator Tim Hussey at the conference where I could see the power of this program in real life helped seal the deal for me! While I know transitioning to a new program takes quite a bit of time up front, I am ecstatic to see the growth and organization I will achieve in the long run. Sign up with my code and receive 2 FREE months to see for yourself –> PIXIFI.
THE POWER OF VIDEO
Ashley of Ashley McComb Productions hit it out of the park with her presentation on the power of video and completely persuaded me to start using this more in my business! I’ll admit, I had just started using video responses for new client inquiries, but I wasn’t 100% sure if I was doing it effectively. As a videographer, storyteller and top notch business owner, Ashley simplified the process of what to say on video and how to say it. She also provided a few different creative ways to incorporate video outside of just my inbox. I’m really excited to continue using video to personalize and strengthen my business and communication. So if you send me a DM or email in the future, don’t be surprised if the response you see is a 60 second clip of my smiling face 🙂 I’m just more excited than ever to connect and say hi!
ENGAGING ON INSTAGRAM
Oh Instagram… I have a love hate relationship with this app when it comes to my business. Over the past several years, as the algorithm has continued to change I’ve heard more and more educators encouraging IG users to engage, show your face in your feed, use stories more frequently, get personal, connect! I get it, but at the same time I don’t. The more I tried to do this, the more I felt I was investing a LOT of time for very little in return. I also knew that I should be spending time seeking out potential clients, but I thought that was simply because I needed to “like, comment, and connect.” Then Devin Robinson of Anchor and Veil Photography completely changed my mind on how to use the good ole ‘Gram for my business.
I won’t share all of his wonderfully laid tips and tricks here, I’ll let you head on over to his podcast and youtube channels for that. But let’s just say my mind was blown on how I can use this app to seek out potential clients, authentically connect, serve them well and save SO much time in the future!
Overall, it was a great two day getaway and conference packed full of valuable information. As I mentioned, it was of course beautiful as well, but I’ll let the photos below speak to that!